Gaydar fraudster jailed for four years

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A man who trawled Gaydar to find victims to steal from has been jailed for four years and three months.

Mark Andrew Bishop, 37, of no fixed abode, stole £300,000 from one of his nine known victims, although police say he may have targeted many more men.

He admitted to 11 charges of theft, fraud and deception committed over the last 11 years and asked for a further 27 offences to be taken into consideration.

Gloucestershire Police said Bishop used gay social networking sites such as Gaydar to gain the trust of gay men.

He would tell them a convincing story about needing a place to stay and then steal from them before moving on to his next victim.

PC Anita Barlow of Gloucestershire Police said: “He has left a trail of devastation behind him, using one man for all he can then moving onto his next victim.

“It will be a relief to all those involved in this case that he will be spending time behind bars and I would like to take this opportunity to praise all those who have spoken to us during this investigation.

“The information they have given us, often very private, personal details, has resulted in justice being done.”

Officers believe Bishop may have stolen from many more victims and are appealing for them to come forward.

PC Barlow added: “This man has travelled throughout the UK to find his victims and I believe there may be even more people who have lost money to this man out there.

“We would urge anyone who may have been defrauded by this man or have information about him to contact their local police.”

Anyone with information can call Gloucestershire Constabulary on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.