Ian Beale lookalike who conned lonely hearts out of £400k in life savings hunted by cops | UK | News

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Ian Beale lookalike who conned lonely hearts out of £400k in life savings hunted by cops | UK | News

A fresh appeal has been made to capture an Ian Beale lookalike – who has been on the run for nearly five years after conning lonely hearts out of £400k. South Yorkshire Police first launched an appeal for ‘Casanova Conman’ John Eric Wells in September 2019.

Despite resembling one of British TV’s most iconic characters – played by Adam Woodyatt on Eastenders for decades – he’s managed to evade arrest for more than four years.

Wells, who is in his 60s, is also believed to go by the names Howard Walmsley and Howard Hemmings and is wanted in connection with three romance frauds.

It is claimed he fleeced his victims out of their life savings in total by sweeping them off their feet and going on spending spree with their money.

Victim Hazel Wilkins appeared on This Morning in 2019 to tell how she met Wells online.

He starting asking her for money when they entered a relationship in 2014 and later took out loans in her name before fleeing, leaving her in a mountain of debt.

Wells had previously been jailed for three years after faking an £8.9million lottery win, later claiming the scam was an attempt to save his marriage.

He conned banks, a solicitor, an architect, a car firm and two women friends out of £53,000 in total.

The plot was turned into the film Can’t Buy Me Love, penned by EastEnders‘ writer Tony Jordan and starring Martin Kemp.

Judge Jane Shipley, who jailed him at Sheffield Crown Court in 2001, told him he lived in a ‘fantasy world’.

She added: « You wanted to aspire to the high life and appear successful, but you seem to lack what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. »

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police today (Fri) confirmed Wells was still wanted, saying: « Police would like to hear from anyone who has seen or spoken to Wells recently, or has information which may help officers with their enquiries.

« It is possible Wells is currently living outside the UK. If you see him, or you have any information which may help, please call South Yorkshire Police on 101. »

Cet article est apparu en premier en ANGLAIS sur https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1867564/ian-beale-lookalike-manhunt-john-eric-wells


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