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Mandy O’Keeffe 41,from Walsall met her a man on the Plenty of Fish dating website, she thought she had caught the man of he dreams, but he turned out to be rotten to the core.
She met Rob, 33 an IT engineer from Leeds in April 2014 on the internet dating website, and began chatting and met up later that month.
They first met up at pub in Sutton Coldfield, he told her he driven down from Leeds en route to Eastbourne. On the first meeting he said that he couldn’t keep a girlfriend because he worked away so much, and that his last relationship had ended badly.
The accountant says: “He seemed so genuine when we chatted and we met up there were fireworks, the only issue was that he lived in Leeds and I was based in Walsall.
“However, things got serious pretty quickly and he would visit me a couple of times a week, and would message me hundreds of times a day, but he was always working away in Belfast and Inverness. He said he also spent a lot of time looking after his two-year-old niece, which took up a lot of his time.
“I remember him telling me he was babysitting his niece Emily and was taking her to see Shaun the Sheep the film, and even sent me a pic of her.”
The couple got serious and went on foreign holidays, including Milan, where the couple had the most romantic time of their relationship.
She says: “We met at Manchester airport and we had the best time ever, we visited the San Siro, ate out every night and had a great time.
“On the way there he bought some expensive perfume who he said was for his sister-in-law, and I didn’t think any of it at the time.”
Rob also took a lot of holidays with his family, but when he was on these foreign jaunts he would only send her selfies, often wearing the clothes and sunglasses she had bought him.
She says: “I remember he went on a holiday to Florida for a couple of weeks, I thought he might invite me to meet his family, but he didn’t. “
Mandy also found it increasingly odd when he said he was babysitting his niece.
She says: “He told me bath time had drained him, I thought bathing his niece was odd, I thought maybe it could be his daughter and that maybe he was separated and didn’t want me to know, so I respected that, but in the end I accepted what he told me as the truth.
“I wanted him to be more involved in my life but I understood the distance he had to travel from his home and the amount of work he had to do abroad.”
The relationship blossomed even though he was frequently working away. However, in August 2015 Mandy fell ill and needed her gallbladder removed and this is when it all began to unravel. Rob was not the man he pretended to be, in more ways than one.
She says: “I was very poorly and he was sitting cradling me in his arms when he took a call. I heard the man on the other end of the line call him “Stewart” I was really ill, and didn’t have the strength to challenge him.”
Rob left for the evening, as he said he needed to go to Belfast for work, and Mandy lay in bed in agony, wondering what had just happened.
She says: “He continued to message pretending he was flying back to Belfast that night. I messaged him later and asked him if he was married. He replied the following day “Where’s that come from, what’s going on?” I said I don’t know who you are but you’re not Rob are you?”
Rob told Mandy he was who he claimed to be and he would prove it when he was back. But Mandy couldn’t wait and the next day she began to do some private detective work of her own, to see if he could fine anything out.
She says: “He had told me the company was registered in North Leigh in Oxfordshire so I went online to Companies House and could only find one IT company based there and its director was a Stewart Priestley.
“I then searched on the internet under the name Stewart Priestley and the company name and it brought up a Yatedo page which brought told me they were based in Wolverhampton.
“The I searched by Priestley in Wolverhampton and it brought up an Allison Priestley and an address.
“I went onto her Facebook page and there was a picture of him holding a kitten and I knew that he was married.”
Mandy couldn’t resist and drove to the address she had uncovered and when she got there she was to find out the man she was in love with was leading a double life.
She says: “It was only a five miles from my home, so I decided to drive there, I pulled up to the house and checked the address and I saw his car on the drive way, I was so angry and thought about charging into his house and screaming at him, but instead I drove home in floods of tears.”
In the 16 months of dating he hadn’t been driving from Leeds to see her he’d driven 5 miles from his family home, to have sordid affair, under an assumed name and pretending his daughter was actually his niece.
She says: “I thought his wife needed to know what he had been doing, and spent all night wondering what I could do. I went home distraught, hurt, angry and upset, I emailed pictures, messages etc to his wife. She didn’t respond, the Facebook message didn’t change status to read from sent. I was convinced he had somehow got to her Facebook account first and deleted the message. So in desperation I decided to send her a letter.
While she waited for a response to the letter she looked at Allison’s Facebook profile and she was astounded at what she saw.
She says: “I couldn’t believe it he had been dating for 16 months was living a lie and had broken my heart.”
After taking in all this news she finally spoke to “Rob” who was actually Stewart and confronted him with what she had found out and that is niece was actually his daughter.
She says: “He had the audacity to ask him tell his wife before I would, but I said it was too late. The next few days I fell apart, I wanted answers from him but all he was bothered about was that his wife would finish with immediately and that he’d hardly see his daughter.
“He said the reason he had gone on a dating website was he wanted a break from reality and a bit of fun, by making up a fictitious person he could do that then just walk away and no one would know who he was really was. This guy is a sexual predator.
“There might be more victims of his and have never known the real Stewart Priestley, that’s why I have done this story, to warn others so no one has to deal with him ever again.”
“I don’t believe a word he says, why would I after what he has done? I am starting to put my life back together but it’s difficult, I don’t think I will ever be able to trust another man again.
“I can’t believe the scheming and plotting to make up ridiculous pointless lies to deceive me when all I was guilty of was loving the wrong person.”
Stewart said: “I am sorry for the hurt I have caused anyone.”
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