AN AGRICULTURAL engineer who ‘conned’ his secret girlfriend out of £60,000 by claiming to be in the SAS has been jailed.

Christopher Ecob told his then-partner Susannah Kavanagh that he was in the Special Air Service (SAS) as a cover-up for why he couldn’t move in or spend as much time with her.

He started asking to borrow money for a farming ‘invention’ which he claimed would them ‘millions’, allowing him to leave the military and start their lives together.

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In reality, the 49-year-old lived with his long-term partner in Thame and was using the funds for his agricultural business.

When confronted by Ms Kavanagh, he punched her several times in the face and kicked her in the head.

He was jailed for 27 months at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday (April 25) for one count each of intentional strangulation, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

During the sentencing, it was heard the pair were in a relationship for about five and a half years in which Ms Kavanagh believed Ecob was serving in the SAS.

He would send her pictures of him in helicopters and pictures of guns.

He told her he was unable to move in with her because of the guns and military equipment that was approved to be kept at his Thame home.

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Over that period, he borrowed up to £60,000 in separate transactions for his ‘farming invention’, with the promise Ms Kavanagh would receive the money back.

However, she started to get concerned as Ecob began making repeated excuses for why he couldn’t pay her back – only sending a few smaller payments here and there.

On September 30 last year, she confronted him at his home address off the High Street in Thame where she discovered he was living with a long-term partner.

Ecob grabbed Ms Kavanagh by her neck after she refused to leave and was scared it was the end of her life.

She managed to flee but returned on October 2 with a camera.

This time, Ecob punched her in the face before kicking and stamping on her head when she fell to the floor.

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In a victim impact statement read out by Ms Kavanagh in court, she said to Ecob: “You told me I was a lying c*** and you would see me in the next life…but you won’t because you will be in the fires of hell.”

Defending Ecob, his barrister said that being in the SAS was something Ms Kavanagh ‘fantasied’ about and he ‘just went along with it’.

He added that there was a dispute about the money borrowing, arguing it was only about £20,000 and that he intends to pay it back.