A ‘SOPHISTICATED’ conman who swindled almost £200,000 from nine people – including a former British and Irish Lions rugby player – after blowing their investments on his spiralling addiction to gambling on horse racing was jailed for four years.

One of Robert Jenkins’ victims was Stuart Lane who won five caps for Wales and toured South Africa with the 1980 Lions side.

The scam affected effected nine people from the Tredegar and saw some victims lose life savings, pension pots, their inheritance and money meant for their children’s future.

The 43-year-old appeared at Cardiff Crown Court for sentencing after he earlier admitted on the opening day of his trial of setting up a false business encouraging people to invest their savings in a scheme which he claimed would provide guaranteed profits and protect their initial investments.

Jenkins, of Nant Celyn, Rhymney, pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud by false representation and one count of producing an article in connection with fraud.

Heath Edwards, mitigating, said his client was of previous good character.