Lake Heights woman victim of love scam

A Wollongong judge has slammed an international con man who used dating sites to lure vulnerable women, labelling the fraudster's 13-month jail sentence "not long enough".

Per Andersen appealed his jail term in Wollongong District Court on Friday after pleading guilty in January to assaulting a Lake Heights woman he met online.

Dismissing the appeal, Judge Paul Conlon noted Andersen was well known in Russia, New Zealand, Lithuania and across Australia for preying on lonely women and had several aliases including Salvatore Leonetti and Paul Baune.

He told the court the 47-year-old would select a target, pass himself off as the "perfect gentlemen" and convince them of his love before fleecing them of thousands of dollars.

In 2007, he scammed the Lake Heights Illawarra woman, contacting her on RSVP before claiming he was a Russian millionaire with a double degree in psychology.

The woman was smitten and allowed Andersen to move in with her and her children.

Not long after he proposed, Andersen convinced his lover that he was set to receive millions but needed some cash to tide him over, forcing her to get him a Mastercard.

He then started requesting identification for "their marriage", taking control of her driver's licence and passport.

The worsening relationship escalated in June, 2007 when Andersen grabbed the woman around the neck and softly threatened: "I could snap your neck."

She thought about escaping but did not want to leave her children behind.

She gave her engagement ring back to Andersen and he punched her in the face.

A month later, the woman dropped the children off with a friend before she met Andersen at Fairy Meadow McDonald's.

He convinced her to get in the car with him where he made phone calls, suggesting he was ordering "hits" on the woman's parents.

Giving evidence, Andersen said he had not received adequate medical treatment in jail and wanted to be released so he could bury his new partner.

But Judge Conlon slammed the con man's behaviour, labelling him an "irrational, unstable and dangerous individual"

"When the courts are confronted by repeat offenders [like this], stern punishment is required.

"I am sure the community would love to see a website entitled 'charlatans, cads and con men' that would provide an instant research tool to guard against despicable human beings like Andersen - they need to be constantly exposed."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop