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My date lied about being infertile but had four other children – I joined forces with the other mothers to try to get child support but he pays just £2 a week despite links to 27 businesses


A successful businesswoman who has her hands full with two children, Tina Maia doesn’t see herself as someone who has a high tolerance for nonsense.

But after falling for the lies of a conman who fathered her child and then accused her of ‘entrapment’, she admits she felt ‘so stupid’.

Tina, 48, from Buckinghamshire, met ‘cheeky chappy’ Neil Lawman, 51, an IT consultant from Southend-on-Sea, at a conference in 2016.

After they connected on the conference app and their chat became flirty, Tina felt a connection with Lawmen and the pair casually date for a couple of months – bonding over the fact they were both divorced.

However, despite Lawman initially seeming open and honest, in what Tina describes as a ‘refreshing’ change, she later saw a nasty side of him when she fell pregnant – claiming he suggested he’d rather ‘flush it down the toilet’.

Tina Maia, 48, with her daughter, aged six. Maia fell pregnant after Neil Lawman told her he was infertile

Tina Maia, 48, with her daughter, aged six. Maia fell pregnant after Neil Lawman told her he was infertile

When the couple first began to chat on the conference app, Tina says it wasn’t long before the conversation turned flirty.

One day, after she had just closed a deal and was in a ‘good mood’, Lawman told Tina he was in the area and asked if she wanted to go for a drink. As her son was due to go for a sleepover, she had a free evening and decided to meet him.

‘I thought I’d go for an hour,’ she said. ‘He was quite attractive, he seemed like a bit of a cheeky chappy. We started talking and he was very open.’ 

She and Lawman bonded over the fact they were both divorced and had both lived in the US. According to Tina, Lawman claimed his ex-wife still lived in upstate New York, but he moved back to the UK when the marriage broke down. 

She said the conversation became ’emotive’ when Lawman revealed he didn’t have children because he was infertile after having treatment for testicular cancer.

Lawman also told her that his infertility ultimately led to the breakdown of his marriage, when his wife left him for his best friend.  

‘His wife had become really embittered about the fact that he couldn’t give her children,’ Maia said. ‘He was so emotive – he seemed really very hurt by it.

Maia's daughter suffered with a lung infection and severe jaundice when she was born. Even when doctors thought they might have to do a blood transfusion, Lawman refused to provide his medical history

Maia’s daughter suffered with a lung infection and severe jaundice when she was born. Even when doctors thought they might have to do a blood transfusion, Lawman refused to provide his medical history 

Maia and Lawman's ex-wife set up the 'Neil Lawman victims support' group on Facebook to raise awareness and prevent others from falling victim to his deceitful behaviour

Maia and Lawman’s ex-wife set up the ‘Neil Lawman victims support’ group on Facebook to raise awareness and prevent others from falling victim to his deceitful behaviour 

‘It didn’t raise a flag, I just thought he’s quite open. I thought it was refreshing.’ 

The pair stayed in touch and met up again at her house a few weeks later. As they were about to have sex, Tina asked Lawman if he had a condom and claims he replied: ‘I’m allergic to latex.’

A few weeks later, Tina began to feel forgetful – a sensation she recalled from falling pregnant with her son – and also realised her period was late.

Although she presumed she could not be pregnant because she believed Lawman could not have children, she took a test – and was bewildered when it returned a positive result. 

Tina contacted Lawman and told him the news – but he denied that the child could be his, ‘reminding’ her that he had had a vasectomy following his cancer diagnosis.

He also refused to do a DNA test to prove the baby’s parentage – and according to Tina, he began to turn nasty. 

‘He said, “Don’t think that if this kid ever comes and looks me up I’m going to take it on fishing trips. I’ll tell it its mum is a sl*t and I never wanted it and it should have been flushed down the f****** toilet”,’ she recalled. 

Lawman also threatened Tina with going to the police. When she asked him what for, he said ‘entrapment’. 

Despite receiving such a vitriolic response from Lawman, Tina says she gave him the benefit of the doubt because he was likely ‘in shock’ after learning he was soon to become a father, as he had previously thought it wouldn’t ever happen for him.

She recalled thinking: ‘Poor guy, he thought he couldn’t have kids, his wife left him, he thought he would be childless for ever. Now he’s in shock.’

Tina told Lawman he was welcome to take a DNA test after the baby was born, but they didn’t speak for the rest of the pregnancy.

However, when the baby girl was born, she had jaundice and a lung infection which almost led to her requiring a blood transfusion. Tina said she was asked to provide medical records of both parents, meaning she had to get in touch with her daughter’s father.

Lawman, however, was not forthcoming. In fact, he categorically refused to share his information, telling Tina that he would not help her or her baby and again threatening to go to the police. 

Unsure where to turn, Tina decided to go to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) – and only then did she learn the extent of the lies she had been told.

Lawman, who had said his inability to have children had caused his first marriage to end, was actually the biological father of five children. 

After meeting him at a business conference and being led to believe he had a successful career, Tina was also shocked to learn Lawman was claiming benefits – meaning he couldn’t pay child maintenance. However, when she looked him up on Companies House, she found he was linked to 27 businesses.

Her searches also led her to something unexpected – Lawman’s ex-wife and their two daughters who lived in the Home Counties, not upstate New York. Seeing as she lived in the same county, Tina decided to reach out to Lawman’s ex on Facebook.

Lawman told Maia that his ex-wife had left him for his best friend because he wasn't able to give her children after being treated for testicular cancer

Lawman told Maia that his ex-wife had left him for his best friend because he wasn’t able to give her children after being treated for testicular cancer 

‘I had no idea what to expect – I didn’t know if they were still married – but I realised that everything was starting to unravel, all the lies,’ Tina recalled.

‘She got right back to me and the first thing she said was, “I’m sorry you’ve been a victim too” and she told me everything she knew, the other children, the lies, the abuse, all of it.

‘She said, “I’ve never told my [two] girls about the other children but I think I’m going to have to tell them about your daughter”.’

The other children, Tina would soon find out, belonged to two other women. One of the mothers approached Lawman’s ex-wife while they were still married.

Tina formed a friendship with Lawman’s ex-wife, who does not want to be named, over their parenting of half-siblings (they took DNA tests to confirm) and their experiences with Lawman. 

‘We vindicated each other because when you’ve been in a situation with Neil Lawman you come away feeling so stupid.

‘But then you realise that he’s done it to others – others are not stupid too, maybe the problem is with him.’ 

Keen to make it as difficult as possible for Lawman to deceive anyone else, the friends set up the ‘Neil Lawman victims support’ group on Facebook. 

‘We set up the group so that if people who were thinking of dating [Lawman] or going into business with him typed his name into Facebook, they would get a red flag.’

The group, which is still active, has 60 genuine members (Tina has verified each one) including landlords who allege that Lawman owes them money and women who allege various types of mistreatment and assault. The fourth mother of one of Lawman’s children was found through this group.

Earlier this month, the two other women who had mothered Lawman’s children told The Times they gave birth to the babies within eight weeks of each other back in 1994. They also revealed they had lived in the same street in Ilford, East London. 

One of the women, who was only 17 at the time, explained how Lawman had threatened her and told her to stay away from him when she told him that she was pregnant. 

Believing that her child would suffer without two parents, she came close to putting the baby up for adoption. 

The other mother, like Tina and Lawman’s ex-wife, also alleged verbal abuse and told she had received nothing in terms of child maintenance payments. 

She said:  ‘One letter from the CSA said he was going to pay us nothing. We just stopped trying in the end.’ 

The stories of these four women alone indicate that Lawman – the man who told Maia he was infertile – has fathered five children. 

When approached by The Times, Lawman said: ‘It’s all not correct and I’m not prepared to give any more information. There is a police action already taken out with Southend police, so I will notify them. 

‘You don’t know what I’ve denied and what I haven’t. I won’t be making any comment.’

Tina believes she was let down by both the CMS and the Department of Work and Pensions – accusing them of letting Lawman ‘walk in plain sight’ and get away with deception ‘without consequences’. 

She said: ‘The minute you go on benefits, child maintenance services don’t prosecute – they take £2.44 a week of his Universal Credit allowance for my daughter. Imagine if I needed the money, that wouldn’t even buy her a Happy Meal.’ 

She is also concerned that men can lie about being infertile before they have sex, deceiving women into thinking they do not need to use contraception, and seemingly face no consequences.

Jason Lawrence was initially found guilty of rape by deception when he lied about having had a vasectomy in 2019 – however the verdict has since been overturned. 



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