A FORMER bank manager from Newport conned his victims - including his own daughter - out of almost £650,000.

Steven Symes, 61, was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court after admitting four charges of fraud by abuse of position.

Prosecutor Alexander Greenwood told the court that one victim, Gary Mawer, was convinced to invest £30,000, which he understood to be a short-term loan to a third party represented by Symes with a 50 per cent interest rate, to be repaid in six months.

The money was eventually repaid, and Mr Mawer was convinced to invest further sums with Symes totalling £297,500 - which were never repaid.


Symes also conned other victims with talk of a deal involving repossessed homes in Newport, later contacting them to say he had been scammed and all their money had been lost.

Mr Greenwood told the court that the defendant’s daughter Chloe Symes reported her father to the police in 2018 after becoming aware that he had built up £125,000 of debt in her name through credit cards and loans.

Between 2012 and 2018, “in excess of £1.8 million” had been paid into an account in her name, said Mr Greenwood.

In total, it is thought Symes defrauded his victims to the tune of £642,000. He was arrested on September 26 2018.

Speaking in court, Mr Mawer said he was still working aged 77 because of the financial losses caused by Symes - with that money having been earmarked to spend on his children and grandchildren.

And in a statement read in court, another victim - Neil Perry - said Symes had conned him out of his wife’s life insurance money after she had died from cancer, which would have been used to help the couple’s daughter after she finished school.

Chloe Symes said that she felt “a level of anger and hatred” for her father, and her credit score was now “appalling”, and she was being “harassed” by creditors for the debts he built up.

Heath Edwards, in mitigation, said Symes was “deeply ashamed of the way he behaved.”

He said Symes “felt trapped, using the money from one 'client' to pay the debts owed to another,” and that Symes was a man of clean character before this.

“As his life spiralled downwards, he took others who didn’t deserve it down with him,” said Mr Edwards.

Judge Catherine Richards sentenced Symes to four years and four months in prison, with two further sentences of two-and-a-half years and another of 18 months all running concurrently.

“You abused the trust of your own daughter,” she said.

“The consequences of your fraud has a real human cost.

“This is a total fall from grace.”

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing will be held in May.