Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Con man jailed as 'dates' find each other, call cops

  • Print

EDMONTON -- A man who befriended Alberta women on dating websites only to extort thousands of dollars from them has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison after some of the victims found out about each other online and reported him to police.

Shannon Bradford Dixon, 36, pleaded guilty Friday to charges involving seven women that included extortion, fraud, bestiality, sexual assault and obstructing justice over a period of three years beginning in 2008.

"You have little respect for members of the opposite sex," Justice Sterling Sanderman of Court of Queen's Bench told Dixon during sentencing.

"You took money, dignity and the self-respect of these seven women."

Court heard in an agreed statement of facts Dixon began a number of the relationships on the dating website Plenty of Fish and then later met them in person.

He told widowed or divorced mothers he was a helicopter pilot, but later claimed he was a drug dealer who wanted out of the business, and needed cash to pay debts.

In some of the cases he threatened to post nude photos online or send them to employers.

In one case, he restrained a woman while he burned her with a lighter.

One of the victims ultimately lost more than $230,000 to Dixon.

Sanderman told Dixon if he couldn't con, control or intimidate women, he punished them.

"You bring no personal qualities that improve your position before the court. None. Absolutely zero."

Dixon, a stout man with a large belly and a thinning mullet who is originally from Newfoundland, took a gulp of water after learning his fate.

Court heard many of the relationships overlapped, and while Dixon often promised to repay the money, he wouldn't show up at the agreed times or had more fabricated excuses about why he needed more cash.

He drank a lot. He argued loudly on his cellphone in front of the women he was defrauding, and often the woman at the other end of the line was another of his victims.

Court heard he came up with lies to explain the phone calls. Sometimes he told them the other women were members of his made-up drug ring.

Eventually, some of the women posted comments about Dixon on websites. When they realized there were others like them in the same boat, they contacted police.

"Mr. Dixon exploited their vulnerability, their loneliness," RCMP Cpl. Colette Zazulak said outside court. "It really shook their lives."

At one point in 2010 while out on bail, Dixon violated his release conditions and took a bus to Ontario. He pleaded guilty to assaulting in Kitchener a woman he'd met on that bus.

Court heard he also had a lengthy criminal record for assaulting ex-spouses and girlfriends dating back to 1999. He also pleaded guilty in 2011 to assaulting a common-law spouse in Kitchener in 2007.

Six of Dixon's seven Alberta victims were present during the sentencing Friday.

Outside court, one warned others to be wary of dating websites, noting Dixon was preying on them.

"He did a lot of damage to a lot of people. He changed a lot of people's lives. Not just ourselves, but we have families, we have children, we have employers that had to support us through this whole process," said the woman, who cannot be identified.

Dixon declined an opportunity to speak during the sentencing.

Sanderman said Dixon would have approximately 10 1/2 years left to serve in jail with pre-trial custody taken into consideration. He must also provide a DNA sample and be listed on a sex offender registry for 20 years.


-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 24, 2013 A25

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Selinger addresses stadium lawsuit

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google