THE BOGUS BARRISTER

zzzzzruntitledOne of Britain’s most notorious fraudsters was jailed for three years for posing as the Director of Public Prosecutions to ‘worm his way’ into women’s lives.

In a remarkable criminal career spanning four decades Paul Bint, 47, posed as a hotelier, aristocrat, ballet dancer, banker, doctor, playboy, policeman and property magnate.

But in recent years he reverted to his favourite persona – that of the upper class barrister – playing the role to perfection with a gown, wig, pinstripe suit, bundles of paper and red barrister’s bag.

The cigar smoking bounder dubbed ‘King Con’ claimed he was DPP Keir Starmer, QC, and owned a fleet of luxury cars, including one used in the James Bond film Goldeneye.

He entrapped his victims by advertising in newspaper lonely hearts columns as a successful barrister ‘fit, very spontaneous and looking for a relationship’.

During a six week spree of ‘fraud and deception’, Bint stole cash and jewellery from five victims and drove around in a £60,000 Audi sports car.

The homeless drifter wooed women with champagne, flowers and romantic days out, promising to whisk one dupe away on a Caribbean holiday.

He boasted he had socialised with celebrities, including Rock DJ singer Robbie Williams and actor Pierce Brosnan, and said he had once been married to TV actress Sarah Alexander.

Bint claimed to own various houses and a fleet of sports cars, and to be the son of two famous judges.

But he showed his spiteful side when one of his victims arranged a date with another man, writing ‘bitch’ in white paint in the side of her house and blamed it on his rival.

Northampton born Bint was convicted of theft, burglary, driving while disqualified and two counts fraud by ripping off a taxi driver and using one of his victim’s credit cards.

He now has 155 convictions to his name but has also for nearly 350 other crimes to be taken into consideration.

Jailing Bint for three years Judge Deborah Taylor said: ‘You misled two women into letting you into their lives and homes, into trusting you and allowing you to stay with them by giving wholly false details about yourself, and then you stole from them.’

‘The effect on both of these women was not merely the loss of the bracelet, DVDs or money, but as they told the court, feeling the violation of their homes and peace of mind.

‘You have an appalling record for offences of a similar kind to this. You are clearly a very plausible liar and as a result a menace to anyone who comes into contact with you.

‘It is clear you never told the truth even when immediate financial gain was not your aim.

‘You care nothing about those whose lives you disrupt and those whose identities you use.

‘The claims as to your identity have become more grandiose.

‘Having regard to the nature and extent of these offences, only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate.’

Bint showed no emotion as he was sentenced.

His arrest on May 19 this year ‘ended a spree of fraud of fraud and deception that had spanned five to six weeks, during which time he had lied and manipulated a number of people.’

He posed both as Keir Starmer and high-flying criminal barrister Jonathan Rees to dupe his victims.

Prosecutor Riel Carmy-Jones said: ‘He used his impersonation of a barrister to good effect, clocking up some five victims, three of them women he met either through newspaper dating columns or the internet.

‘He then purported to begin friendships with them, using this false persona to worm his way into their homes, in some cases into their hearts and their lives.’

Bint met the first of his victims, businesswoman Penelope Edwards, through the ‘encounters’ page of the Sunday Times.

He said he was a successful barrister called Keir ‘fit, very spontaneous and looking for a relationship’, and arranged to see her in Windsor, Berkshire, on April 19.

Bint met the woman with a bottle of champagne and a bunch of flowers and took her for a pub lunch, during which he claimed he had a house in Sunningdale, Berkshire and a riverside penthouse in London.

He told the victim both his parents were judges, that his mother was Old Bailey judge Ann Goddard and that he was friends with Robbie Williams.

He also said that he had a ‘failed marriage’ with British comedy actress Sarah Alexander, and tried to gain the woman’s sympathy by telling her they had had a child who had died, the court heard.

Over the next few weeks, Bint began a relationship with Miss Edwards, taking her for a test drive in an Audi R8 – despite the fact he was disqualified from driving – and saying he was booking them a holiday in the Turks and Caicos Island.

He boasted to the Audi dealer that he would buy the vehicle for £59,500, and gave him the email address keirstarmer@cps.gov.uk.

Giving evidence in court, Miss Edwards recalled her horror upon discovering Bint’s true identity.

She said: ‘He had been in prison for one year and was a conman. He was there to protect me. We had sex!’

Unknown to Miss Edwards, at the Bint was was having a relationship with a different woman, this time claiming to be barrister Jonathan Rees, the court heard.

He met Vivienne Walsh and presented her with a teddy bear, flowers and a book, repeated his story about Sarah Alexander and said he owned the same Aston Martin used in the James Bond Goldeneye and had met Pierce Brosnan.

One morning after staying at Miss Walsh’s home, Bint stole a gold bracelet from her and later gave it as a present to Miss Edwards.

During the same period, he tricked his way into the male robing room in St Albans Crown Court and stole a barrister’s laptop, which he then used to make his disguise more realistic, the court heard.

Jurors were told he perfected his persona with a gown, wig and collar, a pinstripe suit, bundles of paper and a red bag of the type used by barristers to carry their books.

On one occasion, he used his ‘props’ to cheat a taxi driver out of a 60 pound fare, by claiming that he was Keir Starmer, that his wallet had been stolen and that he would pay him back.

The irate cabbie later went to the offices of the DPP to confront the real Keir Starmer, and had to be placated by his secretary.

When Miss Edwards told him she had arranged a date with another man, Bint claimed he had run a check on him ‘found that this man had assaulted his girlfriend on three occasions’.

Mrs Carmy-Jones said: ‘She cancelled the date and went to bed, taking a sleeping pill as she was so upset.

‘The next morning she woke up early and found Bint in the back garden smoking a cigar.

‘He told her she didn’t want to see what had happened.

‘But she went outside and saw the word ‘bitch’ had been written on the side of her house in white paint.’

Bint told her his love rival, a man named Julian, had done it overnight, and said they should flee the building.

Miss Edwards told the court: ‘It was just a horrendous day, as you can imagine.

‘There was Keir sitting there, looking happy with himself, and he had just ruined my relationship with a man I was potentially in love with.’

The court heard that by that time, he had already made contact with a third woman, also using the Sunday Times ‘encounters’ section, again claiming to be Keir Starmer, and had tricked her into inviting him for dinner at her flat.

Mrs Carmy-Jones said: ‘Perhaps he was planning an exit strategy, [because] he began to set up his next conquest.’

On his arrest, Bint denied any wrongdoing, but admitted using the name Keir Starmer as ‘he wanted to.’

He later told jurors he had claimed to be a barrister because he liked Miss Walsh.

He said: ‘I wanted to impress her as well. I wanted to come across as someone who was successful and someone that was worthwhile.

‘Vivienne is very, very nice and I really, really did like her.

‘This is something I haven’t a great deal of experience in, despite being 47, being with someone, being in a house with someone.

‘I find just talking, watching TV, I find it so enjoyable. I can’t explain how that makes me feel and how contented it makes me feel, being in that kind of environment. I feel I haven’t got a care in the world, that all my troubles have gone. It is like I am in another world.

‘I was not sure what I wanted from her, but I thought if I sat down and told her the truth about myself, she may have given me a fair hearing.’

Referring to Miss Edwards, Bint denied he set out to swindle her, and claimed he had been ‘trying to ingratiate myself into her life, but only with the intention at the very outset of maybe having something very much long term.’

Bint, of no fixed address, had denied nine counts of fraud by false representation, five of driving while disqualified, and one count each of theft, burglary.

He was convicted of two counts of fraud by false representation and one each of theft, burglary and driving while disqualified and cleared of the remaining charges.

Gavin Hulme, defending, had pleaded for the judge to adjourn proceedings for a psychiatric report on his client.

He told the court that with medical help, Bint may change.

He added: ‘It may be that Mr Bint can leave behind King Con, King of the swindlers and just be Paul Bint.

‘It is a coping mechanism that allows him to deal with his past’, he told the court.

Bint was ‘mainly seeking comfort’ in successful personas, he explained.

The judge said that a psychiatric evaluation was ‘not appropriate’.

Bint was jailed for a total of three years and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

On release from prison he has been banned from using alter egos and must only use the name Paul Bint, the judge ordered.

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