Shropshire Star

£269,000 romance fraudster who conned woman into selling home left her a 'homeless, penniless wreck'

A love rat fraudster who conned a Shrewsbury woman out of £269,000 leaving her "a homeless, penniless wreck" has been jailed.

Last updated

Durmus Akca conned a Shrewsbury woman out of her home and her father's inheritance on the false promise of a sun-kissed life in the sunshine of Turkey.

But her dream turned into a nightmare when she found out what Akca had been up to on the sly.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how she "curled up in a ball on a cold, tiled floor and cried all night" when her son told her Akca, 41, had been seen in Shrewsbury with another woman who he had a child with.

All this while the victim was holed up in a dingy flat in Turkey, completely oblivious and believing Akca was living nearby, sorting out somewhere for the pair of them to live.

The reality was, he knew she had money and saw her as a soft touch, repeatedly getting her to hand over huge sums of cash over the course of two and a half years and never paying it back.

The ordeal left the victim having to declare herself homeless, using food banks to feed herself and on the brink of suicide.

It all started when the victim, who is 25 years Akca's senior and used to work in a bookmaker's with him, spotted him on the streets one day in 2017. She took pity on him and let him stay at her home. A relationship as friends began to blossom.

Akca asked her for a loan of £40,000 to launch a cafe business, a venture which ultimately failed. The victim bore the cost of the failed business, and that gave Akca a sense he could take advantage again.

The victim's dad became ill and, with added care responsibilities and the emotional stress, she leaned on Akca for support and described him as "her rock". However Akca used the opportunity to worm his way into her affections, pestering her into giving him large sums of money. Their status together turned from friends into a relationship.

She inherited £120,000 after her father died. Shortly after, Akca asked for £40,000 to start a chicken farm with his brother, before asking for another £32,000 to try and get a low-interest loan from a Turkish bank.

He also asked for sums of money into the tens of thousands claiming he and his brother needed it for bail from prison in Turkey.

Akca got her to sell her house and put the £115,000 generated into what he said was a joint account.

The plan, as far as the victim knew, was for the money to be used for them to buy a house in Turkey together. But when the Covid pandemic struck, Akca was in Turkey and she was in Shrewsbury.

Eventually, in August 2020, she joined him in Turkey but, instead of living together, he said their home was not ready, so put her up in a flat and left her on her own.

He occasionally returned and brought pizza and gin, but for the most part she was left alone with nobody for support in a new country.

Three months down the line, her son phoned and told her what had been going on, and she discovered Akca had taken all her money.

In a victim impact statement, she said: "He always promised to pay me back and I fell for it. I can't believe how stupid I was. If you read it in a book, you would think 'how can that woman be so stupid?'

"I had no-one in my life that needed me. My kids had flown the nest. He needed me and I wanted to be needed.

"He has left me with a broken heart, a broken mind and in financial ruin."

However, with the encouragement of friends and family, the victim bravely stepped forward and told police what Akca had done. He was investigated and prosecuted.

Akca, of Stapleton Road, Belle Vue, Shrewsbury, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation and was jailed for five years and eight months.

Kevin Jones, mitigating, said Akca demonstrated "significant remorse", and had been in the grip of a gambling addiction.

Judge Peter Barrie jailed Akca for five years and eight months, telling him: "Most cases of fraud are about money. But this is about a human tragedy which was all your fault. You left her a penniless, homeless wreck."

Akca will now be subject of confiscation proceedings to see if any of the victim's money can be recouped.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.