A Christchurch man has written six apology letters to women he met - often on dating websites - and duped out of money, laptops and cars.
But Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish said the vulnerable women involved would have to decide whether Paul William Todd Abbot's remorse was genuine.
At his sentencing today, Judge Farish said that after seeing him over the last few months she was "not so convinced" herself, before jailing him for two years, seven months.
She made no order for him to repay the $24,323 the women lost through his offending because a reparation order was "futile".
Abbot, 29, was appearing for sentence after admitting four charges of obtaining by deception, causing a loss by deception, dishonestly using a document, unlawfully taking a car, three of theft, driving while disqualified, failing to answer his bail, and breaching his prison release conditions.
Defence counsel Shannon-Leigh Litt said she had read the victim impact statements to Abbot, and she acknowledged the harm to the victims.
At the time of the offending he had been vulnerable and had low self-esteem. He suffered from anxiety, paranoia, and depression which was now under control.
He had a dysfunctional childhood which was characterised by neglect. This had led to him distrusting people and having a fear of abandonment.
She said she had given the police prosecutor letters of apology to all six of the victims. During his seven months in custody on remand he had reflected on the impact of his offending on the victims.
Judge Farish said Abbot had befriended four women he met on a dating website and duped them out of money,or had taken laptops or cars from them.
He then went to Nelson under a false name and did the same to two other women he met.
"The victim impact statements indicate that they are humiliated, shamed, and devastated," she said.
"They are not likely to see any of the money because you are not in a position to pay any reparation."
The offending occurred while he was subject to prison release conditions, and some happened while he was on bail.
"This is significant offending involving vulnerable women who were targeted in a premeditated way," she said.
It came about because Abbot had a significant drug and alcohol dependence. His difficult upbringing did not provide a reason for the offending.
Judge Farish told him as she imposed the prison term: "One of the issues for me is public safety. Women are entitled to protection from you, particularly in the near future."
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