A serial fraudster who posed as a solicitor and pretended to represent ‘extremely vulnerable’ women in court cases has been jailed for four years and handed a ten-year restraining order.

Stephen Davey, 49, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation, making articles to use in fraud, possessing articles to use in fraud and theft. He was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court.

According to a statement by Cheshire Constabulary, Davey put two women in touch with a 'solicitor', who offered to represent them in family court cases at a discount price. The solicitor did not in fact exist and money went into Davey’s bank account.

All dealings with the ‘solicitor’ were done via email and Davey made excuses when he was due to meet the women. According to the police statement, Davey told the women that their court cases were going well and emailed them various legal documents to back up his claims.

At one point, Davey told a mother that she had won full custody of her children and had been awarded £65,000.

As a result of Davey’s deception, the women were not represented in court and both their cases were put in ‘severe jeopardy’.

According to the police statement, Davey also posed as a police officer and a probation worker, and convinced a woman he was in love with her in order to extort money. The court heard that Davey extorted more than £7,000 in total from his victims.

Detective Constable Laura Gilbert of Warrington CID said: ‘Stephen Davey is a manipulative and despicable individual who has knowingly preyed on extremely vulnerable victims. His offending showed significant premeditation and he attempted to cover his tracks at every turn.’