'He stole my heart and my savings.' says heartbroken Runcorn fiance

Derek McMaster

Derek McMaster

First published in News Runcorn and Widnes World: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Chief Reporter

A LOVE rat who conned two women into getting engaged and then stole their savings now faces jail, a judge has warned.

The vulnerable victims only realised they were being two-timed as they plucked up courage to give evidence at his trial.

Cheat Derek McMaster, aged 64, changed his plea, minutes before a jury was about to be sworn in.

He admitted stealing £5,224 from Runcorn gran Jean Antrobus, between March and June, this year, and stealing £1,350 from kidney dialysis patient Margaret Dickenson, between May and June, 2012.

Addressing him at Warrington Crown Court, on December 20, Judge David Hale said: “It is inevitable for these very serious offences, you will go to prison.”

McMaster, of Falcon Hey, Liverpool, was remanded on bail and will be sentenced later this month.

Speaking afterwards, divorced mum-of-two Mrs Antrobus, aged 64, said: “I feel really hurt and betrayed. I trusted him.

“He has used me.”

She only discovered McMaster was leading a double life when the offences came to light.

She had saved up money for private surgery and was shocked when her visa card was rejected.

She said: “I was crying with embarrassment. There was no money in the bank.

“My bank manager said: ‘You’re in the red’. He had all my cards and took it all. All my bank statements were found under a seat in his car.

“Then when I found out about the other lady, I realised he was leading two separate lives. It was like kicking me in the ribs.

“I’ve never been so shocked in all my life.”

She said she had been taken in by his charm when they met a year ago.

She said: “He was a gentleman. He won me over because of his nature. He was such a lovely person.

“He said he was a retired police officer and worked part time. He had a full uniform and handcuffs and used to tell me how he had arrested drug users.

“He was convincing.”

He proposed after courting her for several months.

She said: “He bought me bouquets of flowers every week and took me away for weekends. Now, I realise it was me that was paying for all this.

“He said: ‘Let’s get married. I never loved anyone like you’ “After three months’ mithering, I gave in.

“We had a big engagement party for 200.”

Mrs Antrobus said she now feels relieved McMaster has admitted his crimes.

She said: “It was terrible because I had got to love him.

“I’ve had to have anti-depressants to get through it.

“He’s a rotter, a horrible man. I don’t want him to break someone else’s heart.”

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