Glenn Comensoli was a cruel conman who went as far as convincing his victim to loan him thousands of dollars so he could buy her an engagement ring.
The wedding never happened, the money he claimed to have in a term deposit never existed and the woman who loved him was left $29,000 out of pocket for money she thought she was loaning him over the course of a year.
Magistrate David Faram called him “despicable” as he this week sentenced Comensoli, 44, of Wangaratta, to six months in jail.
This was not the first time Comensoli had tricked a woman into giving him money: he was sentenced to four years and three months in jail in 2015 for conning another “fiance” and a Bendigo glazier out of more than $200,000.
His latest victim had stood by him during that court hearing until she too realised she had been conned.
By that stage she was already pregnant with his child and has since given birth to a son.
The con began at the start of their relationship in May 2014 when Comensoli told her had had $300,000 he could not access until December that year.
She first loaned him $5000 he said he needed to “regain family harmony” when his brother took money out of a greyhound syndicate, then paid for a $5000 holiday to the Gold Coast which he suggested with the promise he would back her back.
Then came $4200 for an engagement ring and $5000 for a holiday package at Ayers Rock where Comensoli said he wanted to propose.
After the woman found out she was pregnant, Comensoli convinced her to transfer $11,000 into his bank account so he could appear financially viable for a loan to buy a car.
She eventually reported the crime to police in May 2017 and he was charged in March 2018.
Comensoli pleaded guilty in Wangaratta Magistrates Court this week to obtaining financial advantage by deception.
He chose to appear via video link rather than face his victim face-to-face because he claimed long travel times made him dizzy.
The court heard the money was used to fund Comensoli’s gambling addiction.
Mr Faram said gambling issues were not an excuse for what he called a “gross breach of trust”.
“I have absolutely no doubt that (the victim’s) belief in people has been eroded and she is living with the consequences of your deceit,” he said.
“It was a con from the start, wasn’t it?”
The court heard that up until this week’s court hearing, Comensoli still believed the two were engaged to be married and would continue their relationship when he was released from jail.
“It demonstrates a complete lack of insight and an inability to appreciate reality,” Mr Faram said.
“How can he possibly believe that’s a likely outcome?”
The six-month jail sentence will be served on top of Comensoli’s current sentence and he will not be eligible for parole until January 2020.
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