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Woman posed as police officers in elaborate two-year ‘catfish’ scam

LAUREN Adderley took on a number of different identities to make her catfishing victim believe exactly what she wanted him to believe.

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A JEALOUS woman who posed as fake police officers to control her ex-boyfriend and stop him from seeing other women has been jailed.

Lauren Adderley, 21, used “sophisticated catfish style behaviour” to convince her former partner Mitchell Lloyd, 22, he was part of a police investigation.

She even made the young man believe he was subject to police curfews, creating email accounts to pose as cops and threaten him with fines if he did not obey the orders.

Using fake names including Darren Clarke, Elaine Thomas and Robert Hay, the young woman jealously told him to end relationships he had started, and even that he was not allowed to speak to specific people — particularly other women.

In the elaborate scheme, she also pretended to be her own friends on Facebook to send messages to Lloyd, criticising him for going out with other girls.

In sentencing, Peter Rouch QC, said: “I do not know what was going through your mind in December 2014 but at that time you decided to deliberately adopt the persona of a police officer to contact Mitchell Lloyd.

“At that time, he did not want a relationship with you.

“For two years you controlled Mitchell Lloyd’s life, to the extent that you told him where he could go and who he could go out with.”

The threats even included fines of about $4900 if he did not obey.

The couple had met through mutual friends during a night out, with their brief sexual relationship ending after two months in 2014.

But in a victim impact statement, the young man said that he had felt pressurised and blackmailed for two years after the relationship.

At one point, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard the young woman had even threatened to kill herself with a pair of scissors, later telling him “No one can ever love you like I love you x.”

Recorder Rouch told her: “These are serious crimes, as he could not live his life properly during the two years that you committed these offences.

“You did that for your own benefit, whatever that may have been.”

It wasn’t until the young man told colleagues at work about the curfews — including one that told he was no longer able to go to a public house he had taken his mother and sister to — that he alerted police.

Genuine officers were immediately able to deduce that the emails were fake, and traced them back to Adderley.

Paul Smith, defending, added: “Perhaps the key point in mitigation other than the early plea is her age. She was 18 when the offences began back in 2014.

“She has no previous convictions and has taken full responsibility for what she did.”

Jason Corden-Bowen, District Crown Prosecutor and Domestic Abuse Lead with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Lauren Adderley created a complicated fiction of multiple fake profiles interacting with each other to her own satisfaction and reason.

“She used this sophisticated catfish-style behaviour to completely manipulate the victim’s life, dictating when he could go out, where he could go and controlled his social interaction with other people for over two years.

“The impact her actions had on the victim’s life cannot be understated and I would like to pay tribute to him for helping bring Adderley to justice.”

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Henry Sapiecha