Conman jailed after months of lies to his girlfriend

Jailed: The conman who told his girlfriend he was an army captain
Jailed: The conman who told his girlfriend he was an army captain

A conman who lied to a woman he seduced on a dating website about being an army captain has been jailed.

Peter Wall, 30, told his victim and her family a string of lies about his past in order to get her to buy things for him.

As well as telling her that he was a captain in the army artillery attached to the Royal Commandos, he told her that he had won the military cross for his work in Afghanistan, that he had been asked by the police to help track down gunmen Raoul Moat and Derrick Bird and that he had got a job catching and cooking wild animals on a television programme hosted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Among the other lies he told his victim and her family, who he lived with in Todmorden for four months in 2011, were that he saved his family from a house fire at the age of 8, that he was a former professional rugby player with a first degree from Loughborough, that he had been fasted tracked through the army after training at Sandhurst and that his brother was the head chef at a Marcus Wareing restaurant.

He also told them that he had been head hunted by MI5 and M16, that his step-dad was a gangster, that his best friend had committed suicide and that his younger sister died in a car crash - but that Wall had assaulted the driver involved and got away with it.

In fact, Wall, who has a string of previous convictions including some for similar offences, was a former logistics engineer in the army between 2002 and 2006 before being discharged on medical grounds.

Wall also shares his name with Chief of General Staff of the British Army, Sir Peter Wall.

He first met the woman on a night out in Burnley in the autumn of 2010, where she gave Wall her phone number.

After that Wall contacted her via a dating website and began texting her.

He told her he lived in Portsmouth and that his mother and sister lived in Australia but that his father had died.

In Christmas that year he tried to meet her at her work place but she refused. She got a text message from him the following month saying he had been hit by a car and that he was in hospital.

Bradford Crown Court heard how he then told her he had nowhere to go because his mother, who he claimed was living in Australia, had been diverted to America when she tried to come and visit him.

Having given him several hundreds of pounds for hotels she introduced him to her parents and he soon moved in.

As well as telling her that he loved her, Wall told his victim he was earning £4,000 a month, but she became suspicious when he kept asking her to pay for things.

In July 2011 he contacted the Courier to ask for publicity about a world record charity walk he was attempting from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for the Help for Heroes charity.

Soon after that he arrived at the house in an Audi, which the court heard was owned by another woman he was seeing, before packing his bags and leaving.

At that point the victim, who lost a total of £2,854.59, researched him on the internet and found he had previous convictions.

In August last year Wall was given an 18-month community order by magistrates in Blackburn after admitting he conned his then girlfriend out of £1,700 for a trip to Australia by pretending his mother was dead.

She was actually alive and well and living in Liverpool.

When the victim text him asking what was going on, he replied: “You weren’t supposed to get hurt. Take care.”

He was arrested by police shortly afterwards.

Daniel King, defending, said: “Mr Wall did it because he didn’t think she would be interested in the real him.

“He would like to make it clear that he is deeply ashamed, embarrassed and appalled by his actions.

“He abused and violated the trust they placed in him.

The judge James Potter told Wall: “This was a determined and devious course of offending designed to con this victim and her family out of money, services, and accommodation.

“It was planned, cynical, devious and caused significant harm.”

Wall admitted three counts of fraud and was jailed for 12 months. When released, he will be the subject of a restraining order prohibiting him from using dating websites to contact women.