Plenty of Fish conwoman told to repay £2,500 to man she falsely accused of rape
PUBLISHED: 15:22 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:46 07 March 2019
A serial conwoman who stole a man’s life savings and falsely accused him of rape will be forced to repay £2,630 to her victim.
Natalie Rivers, from West End in Old Costessey, has stolen thousands of pounds from people she befriended over the past few years - including the elderly.
The 35-year-old’s previous convictions include impersonating a police officer and falsely claiming a man was under investigation for sexual assault.
She has also been convicted of stealing cash from a 77-year-old pensioner and taking a handbag belonging to a charity worker who was helping her.
In December last year she stole the life savings of a man she met on online dating site Plenty of Fish - and then falsely accused him of rape.
Prosecutor John Morgans said Rivers pretended to have genuine feelings for the 58-year-old victim, but then took his £3,040 life savings.
She told police he was her sugar daddy before making up the false rape allegation.
Rivers, who appeared on a video link from Peterborough jail, admitted theft and was jailed 20 months.
At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing on Thursday, prosecutor Mark Roochove told Norwich Crown Court £2,630 had been recovered from Rivers and would be repaid to her victim.
Mr Morgans had told the court Rivers, who also goes by Natalie Collins, had previous convictions for theft from properties, including in 2013 when she stole from another victim she had befriended on the internet.
She stole bank cards and cheques, along with other items and had used the stolen card to try to buy a Husky puppy.
The court heard how there was another case of her stealing from someone she befriended in October 2013.
Judge Bacon told her: “Your modus operandi is the theft from people that you have befriended and you steal money and goods while in their property.”
Rivers’ previous convictions include stealing cash from a 77-year-old pensioner she befriended.
In October 2016 Rivers was convicted of impersonating a police officer when she went to the employer of a man pretending he was under investigation for a sex assault.
Judge Maureen Bacon said: “You had made a wholly malicious claim to an employer that a man with whom you had some contact with was in custody for a scandalous offence.
“You made those allegations because you did not like him. That shows the extremes to which you will go.”
She said Rivers was given a suspended 24-week jail term but breached that when she was convicted of theft from a house in which cheques were stolen in April this year.
Rivers is currently serving the 24-week sentence and was due for release on New Year’s Eve but has now been jailed a further 20 months for her latest theft.
Prosecutor Mr Morgans said: “There is quite a pattern of offending when it comes to her crimes.”