Con-man admits another $91,000 rip-off


An inveterate Christchurch con-man has admitted 60 charges of ripping off an elderly man who had won a Lotto prize of more than $100,000.

Kim Michael David Barwell, 52 – considered by police as “one of Christchurch’s most prolific criminals” – pleaded guilty to all the charges of obtaining by deception, totalling over $91,000, in the Christchurch District Court this week.

He was due to stand trial next week.

In April 2015, the victim, an 82-year-old man, was approached by Barwell as a long-lost friend, and although he had no recall of Barwell he talked to him.

Barwell described a fictitious situation about needing his car fixed, and convinced the man to give him $650.

Over the next six months he approached the man with differing tales of woe, including needing food, car repairs, medication for his partner, and funeral costs for his sister and her unborn child who he said had died in a car crash, and obtained $91,010 from him.

Barwell had set up an automatic payment of $50 a week to repay the man, he told Stuff, but hoped to increase the amount when he found work.

The victim has sustained a life changing loss to both his confidence and self-esteem, and the depletion of his life savings, the Crown summary of facts said. He told police he was a “trusting and naïve old man”.

The summary said Barwell had previously been before the court and was considered by senior investigators in the CIB as one of Christchurch’s most prolific criminals.

Judge Peter Butler remanded Barwell in custody to appear for sentencing on March 9. He ordered a pre-sentence report.

Barwell is a career criminal who has amassed more than 300 convictions, including two for aggravated robbery. He has already served jail time for scamming vulnerable and elderly victims.

A judge once described him as an “incorrigible rogue and liar with no sense of morality”.



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