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Sebastian Pritchard-Jones from 52 First Dates in today's Observer Magazine

(27 Posts)
52firstdates Sun 07-Jul-13 10:17:07

Hi folks,

Unfortunately the original thread that I was posting on has expired, so I'm hoping someone of you who were speaking to me about this will see this. But finally the truth about Sebastian Pritchard-Jones came out in today's Observer Magazine. You can read it all here:

www.52firstdates.com/2013/07/closure-at-last-real-sebastian.html

CTS x

TimeofChange Sun 07-Jul-13 10:23:19

Can't read that font.

Leverette Sun 07-Jul-13 10:39:05

Amazingly horrifying.

EliotNess Sun 07-Jul-13 10:39:58

i loved this - i read the guardian thing in the night

EliotNess Sun 07-Jul-13 10:40:28

yoweser that blog font is CRAP

EauRouge Sun 07-Jul-13 10:40:56

Holy shit. I'm glad they found him/her in the end, still scary as fuck though.

Timeofchange, there's a link to the article on the Guardian website.

52firstdates Sun 07-Jul-13 10:45:30

Font any better now?

52firstdates Sun 07-Jul-13 11:59:44

Many apologies my original post appears to be spam. I'm not a seasoned Mumsnetter so it was a genuine mistake. Here's the original article on the Guardian website: www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jul/07/hoaxer-who-breaks-womens-hearts?CMP=twt_gu

EliotNess Sun 07-Jul-13 12:57:29

was it exciting doing the investigatioN?

has anything happened since? Do you think she is still masquerading?

52firstdates Sun 07-Jul-13 13:05:53

Exciting isn't the word I would use, it has been a very difficult couple of years. Going to meet her face to face was terrifying, as it reminded me that I had been a victim too. Trying to find answers for the other victims was what kept me going.

I am pretty sure she's still doing it now, and I'm half expecting more victims to come forward now it's in the national press. Contrary to the article, there are now 12 of us female victims in total, but i suspect there are many more. But all she has to do is change her story completely and start all over again and it'll happen to more unsuspecting people.

My main aim of going public with the piece is to raise awareness that online dating doesn't just hide dangers of financial fraud or physical harm...the emotional aspect of it is equally as damaging, and leaves a lasting mark on victims. And the more people that know that it does happen, and frighteningly often, the better.

CTS x

EauRouge Sun 07-Jul-13 13:25:48

She talked one of the women into phone sex- surely that is a crime?

52firstdates Sun 07-Jul-13 13:37:10

Someone else flagged that up to me too. Honestly, I don't know. The way I understand it, unless you've been physically harmed, threatened or done out of money, there is no crime. But in my mind that's just not good enough. What if one of these poor victims had taken their own life? It literally gives me chills thinking about it.

CTS x

Wow, a fascinating and shocking article.

tigerlilygrr Sun 07-Jul-13 16:48:43

Thanks for coming back to update us OP. I'm glad you got closure although I am sure you still have a thousand unanswered questions for 'Seb'. I hope that you can finally close the door on this now for your sake, although it does make fascinating reading.

EliotNess Sun 07-Jul-13 16:50:05

Why do you think she kept the same themes in every case?

52firstdates Sun 07-Jul-13 16:55:54

I think she kept the same themes, because it's easier to lie convincingly when you stick to the same story. And in many ways it was that same basic set of stories that helped so many other victims identify that they'd been hadby the same person.

EauRouge Mon 08-Jul-13 08:55:39

unless you've been physically harmed, threatened or done out of money, there is no crime.

But sexual harassment is a crime, surely phone sex under false pretences would be considered harassment?

And what about their phone bills? The women wouldn't have spent that money if they'd known that Seb was a fraud. I just can't believe this woman can totally get away with what she's done.

PseudoBadger Mon 08-Jul-13 08:58:18

I read this yesterday, didnt realise it had been discussed on here before. Frightening story.

MadBusLady Mon 08-Jul-13 09:00:30

Wow, I was vaguely aware of this, I must have seen your blog at some point. Very glad you have come to an ending of sorts with it. What a terrible and extraordinary story.

It's things like this that make me realise how facile a lot of debate about the internet is. People get fixated on silly things like "not being anonymous" in the belief that this will change people's behaviour for the better. But as this story shows, you can appear to stick to every rule about openness, name yourself, shows photos etc and every single word of it can be an utter lie.

FruminousBandersnatch Mon 08-Jul-13 09:15:05

I haven't seen you on here before now but I read this story last night. Wow. How utterly chilling. Can't believe the police can't get involved when there are 12 women involved! Isn't pretending to be someone else fraud?

I think you were very brave coming forward with this story. I hope it helps other women.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 08-Jul-13 09:22:33

This is awful, but I have to ask why you would invest so much in a 'relationship' with someone you've never even met? Someone's mum thinking they'd get married? It's like other online security, don't leave yourself wide open to abuse or fraud. I'm not victim blaming, though will be accused of it, I just genuinely can't understand, and yes, course I've been single and lonely.

MadBusLady Mon 08-Jul-13 11:22:17

One look at the relationships board shows you that most of us, however smart, assume most other people are essentially normal and honest, and ultimately want functional relationships the same as we do. It may take longer than we'd like to think to tumble to someone who isn't, because we're not looking for the signs. Why would we? Life would be very difficult if you did that all the time.

I reckon a lot of people could be strung out for three or four weeks, or a couple of missed "dates", whichever was the sooner. A range of women are described in the article, no doubt each with their own tolerance levels and histories. Some people do mention marriage and it going on for six months, but other people seem to have smelt a rat after a few weeks.

duchesse Tue 09-Jul-13 01:51:17

I was SURE she was a woman from that scent bottle photo!!

burberryqueen Tue 09-Jul-13 01:59:13

I agree with onesleeptilwembley

mrscynical Tue 09-Jul-13 08:06:43

Internet dating has to be used as a way to see if you like the look of someone (via picture early on), get on via a couple of e-mail messages and then maybe a couple of shortish phone calls. Then you have to meet up in real life. Any tiny feeling during this time of things not being 'right' and you bale out. Anyone not turning up to the first date you bale out. Any hint of the other person not being upfront or honest on that first date you bale out.

I know friends who seem to use internet 'potentials' as 'head doctors' in that they speak for hours on the phone and tell all sorts of secrets, feelings and fantasies to someone they have never met and, in some cases, have no intention of meeting. In this day and age we can see a Facebook page, google a person, take an instant picture and send it immediately. The tools for verification are there if you choose to use them.

I do feel for those who have been strung along but everyone (male and female) must be guarded online and err on the side of caution at all times. The alarm about this particular online profile is that 'he' claimed to be a teacher yet lived in Marylebone. I really don't think many 30 year old teachers earn the sort of money that would even buy a garage in that area.

I really don't want to knock the women who were duped here but unless you use internet dating to actually get out and meet the potential men (or women) you are opening yourself up to this kind of scam. Maybe, like my name, I am incredibly cynical but in the world of online dating I think that is the only way to be.

ALittleStranger Tue 09-Jul-13 09:25:04

I agree with Wembley. I think what happened to these women is very disturbing but I also think it was avoidable. Anyone posting this sort of thing on the mumsnet dating thread would have had some sense knocked into them!

MadBusLady Tue 09-Jul-13 09:41:56

Isn't one of the rules on that dating thread something like "It's all bullshit until something happens"? That alone is very useful!

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