British women defrauded out of more than £800,000 by a conman in Ghana who romanced them on dating websites have got justice after he was convicted.

In an Accra court, Maurice Asola Fadola was sentenced to five years in jail and ordered to re-pay his victims in full.

His targets were vulnerable Western women and the scam involved creating a believable online persona and gaining their trust over several months.

He then claimed to find himself in financial trouble, or encouraged them to invest in a fake project.

Fadola had been accused of extracting the money from 19 women in the UK.

Justice has come slowly – some of the women gave evidence in the trial nearly three years ago.

Katherine Clark, a 71-year-old grandmother from Southsea, in Hampshire, was the first British witness to travel to Ghana to give evidence in a romantic fraud case.

Sky News travelled exclusively with her in November 2011 and can tell her story for the first time.

Mrs Clark lost tens of thousands of pounds, looking for love. She was a widow who lost her husband more than 30 years ago and said Fadola claimed to be a British builder living in London.

She said: "He made feel great, he made me feel wanted and that he was genuine. It was a nice feeling."

They never met but he showered her with attention and sent flowers on her birthday.

When he told her he was moving to Ghana he encouraged her to invest in a bogus mining company.

At one point she actually travelled to Ghana to meet 'Bruce' and Fadola pretended to be Bruce's driver.

He showed her a luxury mansion and a case of gold to ensure her that her investment was genuine. But he claimed Bruce was being held in prison and needed her money for bail.

After giving evidence and seeing him in the dock, Mrs Clark said: "I hope it's going to be worth it because he's got to be stopped.

"It's not pleasant, (seeing him). I don't know how another human being can do it to a vulnerable person."

Sky News also spoke to Clare, who did not want to be identified. She knew Fadola as an American soldier in Iraq.

In an elaborate fraud involving several characters, she paid him more than £200,000 to help get him out of bogus difficulties.

British police tracked him down through bank transfers to his luxury mansion in Ghana.

The trial was endlessly delayed – often because the judge was on holiday or because Fadola tried several delaying tactics.

Research suggests up to 200,000 men and women have been victims of what is dubbed the Rom Con. In Ghana the con artists are called "Sakawa" men.

Some victims never speak about it, some have committed suicide, but in the Fadola case four British women were the first to confront their perpetrator in an African court.

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