Defending, Michael Aspinall, said Gillet had contracted Covid-19 in April this year and had been left with heart problems and scarring of the lungs as a result.

He said prior to embarking on the series of frauds in his mid-20s, Gillet’s marriage had ended, he had lost his business, and he was effectively homeless.

The barrister said Gillett now “bitterly regrets what he has done”.

Judge Huw Rees told the defendant he had deployed “guile and deceit” to take money from his victims in a variety of ways, causing financial and emotional devastation for all involved.

He said: “You are an entirely dishonest man. You have made it your life’s work, it seems, to dupe and defraud innocent people.”

Giving the defendant a 25% discount for his guilty pleas the judge sentenced him to four-and-a-half years to run consecutively with the sentence he is currently serving.