A serial conman arrested on the Costa Blanca nearly a year ago, has pled guilty to nine counts of fraud at Chelmsford Crown Court, after being extradited back to the UK. He will be sentenced next month.

Fowler went missing in 2014 after being sentenced to nine months in jail for fraud at Norwich Crown Court, and popped up on the Costa Blanca using a false name and instigated a variety of fresh scams.

The 39-year-old, from Colchester, was later arrested by the Guardia Civil for unrelated gun licensing matters, but was released in May last year, with no European Arrest Warrant being executed at the time.

After skipping bail from Norwich Crown Court, Fowler rented an apartment from British businesswoman Betty Inglis in December 2014. In January 2016, he moved to Pedregeur after his neighbours found out about his past. Once there he tried to sell a car to expat Diana Lindsay-Vosper. The vehicle turned out to be stolen.

Last autumn an unnamed British expat said he had received a 2,500-euro cheque from Fowler in exchange for goods he had sold him. The cheque bounced. He said: “Nobody believed he could be a fraudster as he was such a sad-looking guy. He had the perfect cover.”

Fowler last week pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation. Essex Police said, “a great deal of effort and commitment” had gone into tracing Fowler and bringing him back to the country to face justice.

He has been detained at Brockfield House in Essex, a secure mental health facility.

Essex Police said he had been wanted for fraud involving at least nine victims in the UK.

He had advertised items, including high-value watches, camera equipment, phones and laptops, which he did not possess on the online sites, police said.

Fowler initially went missing in 2014 after pleading guilty to a separate fraud in Norfolk.

He conned videographer Tom Tailford out of £21,000-worth of camera equipment which he was supposed to have taken on loan but never returned.

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