One of Australia’s most notorious conmen has surfaced in Victoria and has already attracted the attention of police after refusing to pay deposits for the purchase of two million-dollar properties in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.
Danny Robert Shakespeare is renowned as an inveterate liar who can spin yarns that would make the Bard blush.
In a criminal career spanning more than 30 years, Danny has posed as a millionaire property developer, champion middleweight boxer, president of the Gypsy Jokers motorcycle gang, and an elite SAS soldier who shot Osama bin Laden in the foot while fighting in Afghanistan.
Using a string of aliases, including Michael Pagget, Danial McPherson, Danny Stevans and Danny Saville, the 55-year-old career criminal has stolen from elderly women, a professional sportsman, a solicitor and a NSW family saving to send their blind son to Disneyland.
Shakespeare has convictions dating back to 1981, including fraud, burglary, larceny, armed robbery, cultivating marijuana and escaping from prison on two occasions. Originally from Sydney, Shakespeare has wreaked financial havoc from Cairns to Adelaide.
After his release from a South Australian prison last year, Shakespeare has emerged in Melbourne and appears to be unreformed.
He recently introduced himself to a Doncaster real estate agent as Danny Saville and claimed he was successful builder who had received a substantial inheritance.
He agreed to purchase a Templestowe property on behalf of his parents-in-law, before signing a cheque for a $1000 holding deposit under the name Danny Shakespeare.
The cheque bounced and the full deposit was never paid by Mr Shakespeare or his relatives. The contract has been cancelled and the matter has been referred to Manningham police.
In early October, Shakespeare agreed to purchase another property in Bulleen for $1.33 million, but again failed to provide a deposit and the deal was later rescinded. The real estate firm that handled the sale has asked not to be named, but has also reported the matter to police.
Victoria Police are aware of Shakespeare’s past and his mendacious ways. And they are unlikely to accept offers from Shakespeare to help with unsolved crimes.
In 1991, Shakespeare was a key witness for NSW Police when they charged Garry Nye with the murder of career criminal Roy Thurgar in the Sydney suburb of Randwick.
Mr Nye spent 16 months in remand before Shakespeare’s dodgy testimony unravelled in court.
Justice James Wood described the police case as a “complete load of rubbish” during the NSW police royal commission.
Emboldened by his role as a police informer, Shakespeare made even more fanciful claims in 1996 when he told the NSW Coroner that he witnessed Sydney detective inspector John Davidson murder hitman Christopher Dale Flannery, aka Mr Rent-a-Kill.
After he was discredited, Shakespeare fled from his solicitor’s car while it was stopped in traffic in a bid to avoid facing prosecution over his tall tales.
Coroner Greg Glass remarked that Shakespeare “displayed an extraordinary ability to stand his ground, to persistently lie under oath with a straight face, and exhibit effrontery and boldness in the manner he gave his false evidence”.
When contacted by Fairfax Media, Mr Shakespeare claimed he had not signed any documentation or reneged on any deals. He claimed he was the victim of mistaken identity and conmen had used his name to commit crimes.
“This is none of your f—ing business mate. You’re a f—ing clownhead mate, f— off,” he told Fairfax Media.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.