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Tinder swindler beast guilty of raping woman & sexually assaulting another victim amid £200k romance scam | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans


A TINDER swindler beast raped one woman and sexually assaulted another during a massive romance fraud scam totalling over £200,000.

Predator Christopher Harkins, 37, preyed on ten different females between 2013 and 2019 after meeting them on dating apps and coercing them into giving him thousands of pounds.

Chris Harkins has been found guiltyCredit: Police Scotland
The beast raped a woman he met on Tinder and sexually assaulted another
He swindled women out of £214k
Harkins was on trial at the High Court in PaisleyCredit: Alamy

The predator raped one woman at his flat in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, violently attacked two others and sexually assaulted another by filming intimacy without her consent.

The self-confessed gambling addict took out loans in the names of some women.

He pretended to need money for lavish holidays or tech and then threatened them when they asked for the money back.

Dad-of-two Harkins, from Newlands, Glasgow, was found guilty of the sex and violence raps by a jury yesterday after two days of deliberations.

He had earlier cut a confident figure in the dock but was left shaking his bowed head after the verdicts were delivered.

He was then ordered to look up in a reprimand by Judge Alistair Watson.

The law chief blasted his “appalling catalogue of financial, physical and occasional sexual abuse”.

He told Harkins: “You repeatedly portrayed yourself as a successful person when, in fact, you are not.

Most read in The Scottish Sun

“You contacted young women of varying degrees of vulnerability and exploited those.

“You did this over a number of years moving from victim to victim, ruining lives as you went along. The harm caused cannot be overstated.”

But as the monster was handcuffed and taken to prison, Harkins’ mum told him: “I know you never done it.”

She then called reporters “ghouls” after advocate depute Scott McKenzie had told how reports, including those in The Scottish Sun, had helped snare her son.

When giving evidence earlier in his defence, the brazen fraudster accused the women of lying and seeking “revenge” after he had cheated on them.

Quizzed about the rape charge, the fiend insisted: “I’d never do that. That’s somebody’s daughter.”

The harrowing trial also heard from a 31-year-old woman who said she caught Harkins trying to have sex with her while she was asleep at his home in Cumbernauld.

They’d met on Tinder in August 2018. Harkins had claimed to be a wholesale currency exchange business boss who needed money to pay employees as his bank account was “frozen.”

He also asked for cash to buy furniture and vowed to split the cost of a holiday in Cape Verde, West Africa — but instead kept £9,033 taken from the woman.

Harkins, posing as a successful IT worker with a “lavish” lifestyle, got another woman to set up a Betfair account, claiming his own was suspended.

Another victim told of being attacked by the fiend.

She told Mr McKenzie: “He pulled my hair on more than one occasion and on another he put his hand around my neck and held it. I couldn’t move.”

The court heard Harkins had preyed on the women between January 2013 and November 2019.

He had earlier admitted nine fraud raps totalling £214,011 and had just spent a year in an English nick for stealing £16,000 from another woman in London.

He was yesterday convicted of rape, four sexual offences and assault.

The frauds were committed across Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Stirling, Paisley and West Lothian.

Harkins was remanded in custody ahead of a sentencing hearing in July.

Detective inspector Iain Renfrew said: “Christopher Harkins is a violent and contemptable individual who preyed on woman looking for love and companionship.

“He made them believe they were in a loving and exclusive relationship but that was nowhere near the truth.

“His only motive was money. Harkins met the woman through a dating app and once he had formed relationships with them he turned to manipulation, threats, coercive control and violence to obtain thousands of pounds which he used to fund his very lavish lifestyle.

“The fact that he had been convicted is a tremendous credit to the women who came forward to police.

“Their testimony is why he has been convicted today.

“This case highlights that domestic abuse is not just physical or sexual, it includes abusive behaviours or financial abuse. It is often about power and control and can have life changing consequences for victims.

“We sincerely hope that today’s conviction gives confidence to others who may experience anything similar to come forward, safe in the knowledge that police will investigate.”

Harkins was jailed for 15 months last year after he defrauded a financial professional he met online out of £16,000.

He made his victim believe he had his own currency exchange business and would pay her back money she had lent him.

Read more on the Scottish Sun

The woman paid for a luxury holiday to Greece that Harkins never actually booked, and she also agreed to cover what she believed were his business debts.

The victim, from London, was left £16,700 out of pocket and has never seen a penny back from Harkins.



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