Infamous British schoolboy con-artist Mark Acklom on the run after offending again
A prolific British conman has vanished after allegedly wooing a beautiful British divorcee and stealing her life savings.
Mark Acklom is left his victim devastated after promising to marry her, Sky News reported.
British police began investigating him after Carolyn Woods, 55, alleged he had posed as an MI6 agent and conned her into lending him her £850,000 (NZ1.4m$).
"I was completely devastated, he left me destitute and destroyed my life. I felt as though I had fallen in love. He told me he had never felt this way about anyone and we must get married," she said.
* Trade Me 'fraudster' on the run
"I've still got the wedding dress I never wore. It was all a charade. At the time I actually wished he had killed me. I was suicidal."
Sky News eventually tracked Acklom to a prison in Spain, where he was awaiting trial for his latest scam - allegedly duping two brothers into paying him £200,000 as a deposit on the sale of buildings he didn't own.
Acklom was released from jail in March but then vanished again.
In June, British police issued a European arrest warrant to put him on trial in the UK for "fraud by false representation" against Woods.
She said: "He was flirtatious, charming and very entertaining. He has a great presence and charisma, he exudes confidence and the air around him was electric. I was caught up in a whirlwind of excitement.
"He said he was doing things for The Prince's Trust and helping fundraising at Clifton College and everything was cloaked in respectability.
"One of the most extraordinary things he told me was that it was all a cover and he was an MI6 agent. It sounds very far-fetched, but he convinced me it was true.
Her two daughters believed she was brainwashed by Acklom.
She later found he was jailed for fraud when he was a public schoolboy.
We discovered he has since been jailed three times in Spain for a variety of fraud offences. He also changed his name to Marc Ros Rodriguez.
She said: "I was in love with the man Mark Acklom created. He hooked me and reeled me in."