His best friend is Paul who was severely disabled as a result of botched childhood innoculations. They'd been to school together, and Seb would regularly visit him. He is a huge football fan, and they'd regularly go to watch matches together.
Monday afternoon rolled around, and an hour before we were due to meet, he texted to cancel on the grounds that he had had a disclosure at school. One of his pupils had told him that she was being abused by her father, and he had spent the afternoon involved with the police and social services. All in all, that sounds like a pretty rubbish day at work, so we decided to reschedule for Thursday that week.
Later that week I went to meet him, and we had even spoken an hour beforehand to arrange the venue, but he never turned up. I was not just furious but utterly embarrassed that I’d got it so wrong. A couple of days later I heard from him out of the blue. It emerged that he had snapped a cruciate ligament during football training and had ended up in hospital. Wow, this boy really is unlucky I thought.
The following week we started speaking on the phone. He would text me throughout the day and ring me every night. He would send me photos of himself, some doing kooky things, some of him on holiday, a couple of him lying in bed. He obviously wanted me to fancy him, and as you can tell from the photos, he's rather lovely on the eye. I was going to turn a blind eye to the borderline narcissism until I'd at least met the bugger. We'd chat for hours at a time, getting to know each other, finding common ground, taking the piss, developing our own in jokes and getting all the more closer.
Over the space of about 2 weeks, I must've spent over 20 hours talking to this man. He told me about the death of his ex girlfriend Laura, his best friend Paul who was brain-damaged, an alleged affair he had with a popular daytime television presenter, the practical jokes played between him and his brother (including bricking up the front door and inviting a tramp round for Christmas lunch), I felt I knew everything about this man. And in return he knew about my job, my hobbies, my previous relationships, and I’m ashamed to say some skeletons in my closet. And looking back over our conversations now, for every hour on the phone, there was always one little seedy undertone. I can remember him casually slipping things like bra size, anal sex, contraception and even menstrual cycles into conversation. But because they were all anecdotal, or heavily embedded in the in jokes or the sensitive side of things, the alarm bells tinkled a little, but it was nothing I felt I couldn't handle. These are topics that come up with friends, and after all this time, we were becoming friends, friends under a sort of pressure cooker intensity. But every time he tried to eek out something personal from me, my bra size, my views on contraception, my personal cycle, I would bat them away out of the park and he'd be left with nothing. Reading this back now, I feel sick to my stomach. With the benefit of hindsight, I can see now that all this investment in me was for those tiny little seedy snippets.
But by now I still wanted to meet the man behind the smooth Welsh tones. I needed to check that Seb in real life was who I thought he was, and any such salaciousness could be spotted in person, and nipped in the bud. By this time my curiosity had already got the better of me, and I'd tried to find him online. But to pour fuel to my already-increasing suspicions, I could find no trace of him. Not even using journalistic tools used to verify identities. And I am, if I do say my self, pretty fucking good at finding people online. Everyone's on there somewhere, whether it'd for an old school photo, a Just Giving donation, or a vox pop in the local press. But nevertheless, we arranged to meet on the following Friday night and I was determined to get the the bottom of this. However, come Friday afternoon, he cancelled again, this time with the best reason yet: his brother Josh, a policeman, had been having an affair with a colleague's wife. The colleague then found out, a fight broke out, the colleague winds up in hospital and the brother ends up in custody. Oh, and her baby might well have been his brother's. So Seb goes home to look after his devastated family, and once again I'm left high and dry and wondering what sort of a dramatic life this guy has.
By this point I am still hearing daily warning bells like tinnitus, but to honour my blog, and because I was gradually being more and more charmed by this man in a shameful way, I was determined to meet him to find out once and for all what was going on.
Then, out of the blue on Tuesday, came some rather sinister messages one night from a strange number. The conversation went as follows:
07507 *** ***: New number peeps (20.32)
Me: Who is this? x (20.42)
07507 *** ***: You were great xx (21.01)
Me: Who is this??? x (21.12)
07507 *** ***: You know (21.24)
CTS: No I don't...this is your new number (21.43)
07507 *** ***: I hear you are seeing somebody (21.51)
Me: Who is this? (21.52)
07507 *** ***:You fukin no who. Lets start where we left off xx (22.47)
Me: No I have no idea who you are. You either tell me who this is or stop messaging (23.04)
07507 *** ***:Don't mess with me Claire. Played hard to get b4 (23.08)
Me: Who is this? (23.08)
07507 *** ***:You know who so let us stop f***ing around with the other geezer (23.10)
Me: No I do not know who this is. I don't have your number and I have no idea what you are talking about. Leave me alone. (23.10)
07507 *** ***:I will find out who he is. If I can't have youre nor can he (23.12)
Me: Who the f*** are you? (23.13)
07507 *** ***:Small the world but it pays to be street wise (23.14)
Me: Tell me who the f*** you are and how you have my number or I'm going to the police (23.17)
At no point had I ever told anyone I was 'seeing' someone, because I’d been single for 8 years by this point, and my first instinct was that Seb had bought another phone to try and frighten me. This was all very wrong. During these messages, Seb called me and caught me in some distress that these messages, and the first thing I did was to check that it wasn't him. I just knew he had something to do with it. I just knew. He was mortified at the accusation, denied it fervently, and then offered to help by sending the number to his brother-in-law, another policeman on duty. He also queried whether this could be one of my skeletons come back to get me, something I knew was an impossible option. But then he offered to send a cab to collect me and I could stay in his spare room if I was frightened. Ding-a-ling-a-fucking-ling. Not on your life sunshine. I tried calling the strange number back and it rang and rang but no answer and no voicemail. The next day I tried the same and the phone was off. This bore all the markings of a PAYG phone, and one I suspected had been bought for purpose. And the more I thought about it, I suspected he had used something I told him in trust to scare me, and then he could sweep in and look after me.
The next few days were pretty horrific, he was still calling and messaging, one minute offering to look after me and the other expressing such horror that I was still questioning who he was. I knew I had to find out the answer to draw a line under everything. Everything I knew about him was just so intangible, nothing I could use to verify his identity. I was driving myself mad. Here was this handsome man who had been increasingly adoring of me, and yet the alarms were still clanging all over the shop. So today I finally asked where he worked. If he had nothing to hide, he would have told me. But because of these messages that had apparently spooked him too, he refused. This cemented my thoughts that he was to blame for the strange messages and that he wasn't who he said he was. I confronted him, and I said he either had to give me some proof of who he was or to leave me alone. I mentioned all of the failed date attempts, all at his behest, and said he had no intention of ever meeting me. The photo I then received told me everything I needed to know.
I reported the incident to the police, but since Seb had not harmed me, threatened me nor defrauded me of money, there was no crime. The most they could tell me was that someone with a ‘similar name’ had been reported for something similar a year before, but it wasn’t followed up. The only thing there was to go on were the threatening messages which could be seen as harassment.
Fast forward a week after posting my blog and the first of many revelations happened.
C was catapaulted into the Seb saga by utter fluke. After spattering my blog all over social networking sites in an attempt to get some answers about who or what Seb was, I was utterly astonished at some outstanding detective work amongst my Facebook friends. One of them recognised the background of the silent disco photo as being in Milton Keynes shopping centre. After posting this observation on my wall, within hours both her and another friend had managed to locate the man in the photos and had sent me links to his profile. His surname was exactly the same as one of the key names in Seb's web of lies. Unbefuckinglievable.
On Sunday morning I wrote perhaps one of the strangest emails that he will have ever received. 'Hello, you don't know me, but I feel like I know you. Don't freak out now, but have a little read of my blog...' Would he reply? I know I would...but this is just too fucking weird right? Right! Sunday night, as if by magic, C got back in touch, and I can safely say he was as totally shocked by what was going on as I was. It turns out that many of the details I had been told, personal details, about his life, likes, loves had been lifted straight from his life. Other details had come from elsewhere. But in any case that, and the fact that I had been sent around 80 photos documenting his life over the last few years, was enough to freak him right out. Every single picture of Seb I'd been sent were actually of C. So where now? I'd been duped by some sort of pathological liar, and C had had his life stolen.
I then went about sending C every photo I had been sent from 'Sebastian' in an attempt to piece together how he could have acquired all these pictures. I sent him as much of a dossier as I could, including the last few digits of his phone numbers in case C could identify it as maybe one of his so-called friends who would have had access to all these pictures. But what we then found out made us both feel physically sick. C emailed me back with Sebastian's exact telephone number, and said it belonged to a 'woman' called Amanda, whom he had been messaging back in 2008 through Plenty of Fish. He had never spoken to her over the phone only text, but like Seb, she'd cancelled meetings on a number of occasions. It turns out we had both been speaking to the same person.
Randomly Amanda had got in touch with C out of the blue by text on that same telephone number in early 2011 asking for photos of buttonfly jeans because he knew that C used to work for Levis. In the spider diagram Seb had sent me, he’d put buttonfly jeans as one of the things he liked.
The phone number both C and I had for Seb / Amanda was 0770* *** 114. They may have also used a phone with the number 0750* *** 375, the number used to send me threatening messages.
Between the two of us, we had C removed from Smooch, updated the police, and that we thought was that. Until two months later...
She knew Seb was a ‘good Catholic boy’, who taught at a Catholic school and who had been recently promoted to Deputy Head, and bragged about having his name on a plaque on the door, despite not being able to provide photographic evidence. They would also play Scrabble, and he’d send her pictures of chocolate Scrabble letters spelling out messages of love.
Since Ali got in touch, her Rachel and I have been emailing regularly, sharing all the photos and information we have to try and find out more about who the hell this 'thing' is. Ali also has a massive dossier of photos illustrating all of Seb's alleged family and friends. Let me introduce you to them:
He also sent plenty of pictures of his family too, so here you go, you can meet them too - here's Seb enjoying a beverage with his dad, a beautiful portrait of his mum and his Nanna.
Interestingly in one of Ali's photographs she spotted that not one but both of their Seb's were in the same photo. These guys were obviously friends.
Someone out there must recognise people in these photos and we need them to know what is going on. Who went to Benidorm for Rob's 50th? Surely not that many people. We've found someone like this before and I know we can find them again.
Another really major area of concern with me is that of Paul. This is obviously a very poorly man who's photos are being callously used to curry sympathy for someone for the vilest reasons possible. We have accumulated a number of photos of Paul that Seb has been sending around various women and it's not fucking right. The person behind this sickery must have contact or access to him, and his family and carers need to know about it. It chills me to the bone that someone is using someone like this for such ill means, but unfortunately this is the only way I can let people know about it.
So there you go, Sebastian Pritchard-Jones strikes again. Someone out there must recognise people in these pictures. Someone out there must have heard these stories before. I always had my reservations that the internet harboured a whole load of weird, and this is one pretty bloody good example. This creature is stealing lives, weaving lies and doing a whole lot of emotional harm. But who's to say he'll stop there? Please help us find him. Email this article to everyone you know, tweet it, slap it all over your Facebook and help us stop this mind-fuckery before more people get hurt.
And if you have heard any of these stories before, if you've been a victim of this serial nutjob or know anyone in any of these pictures, please please email me. I don't believe for one minute any of these innocent people shown in these pictures know about or would ever consent to them being used in the manner with which they are, and I want to do everything I can to stop any more people getting hurt by what appears to be a very sick and very sad individual.
Until next time readers...and mark my words, there will be a next time...