One of the victims of a fake gynaecologist who fleeced Melbourne patients of tens of thousands of dollars says his crimes have left her wanting to die.
She was one of 30 victims of Raffaele Di Paolo, 61, who passed himself off as a medical practitioner and fertility specialist for a decade before being found guilty of more than 50 charges.
In the Victorian County Court on Monday, one victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the vaginitis and subsequent marriage breakdown she suffered following the fake fertility treatment left her feeling suicidal.
“I continually wish that I could end my life,” she said.
“I often fear what I might do because of the depths of my despair.”
The woman said her husband had left her because she could not have intercourse, and that she was so depressed she feared she may lose her job.
“I am worried and depressed about the potential of never being able to have another partner,” the woman added.
“I also feel frustration and sadness that my husband has gone from my life.”
Di Paolo is being sentenced for 51 counts of procuring sexual penetration by fraud, assault, indecent assault, and obtaining and trying to obtain property by deception.
He fleeced women and their husbands of hundreds of thousands of dollars between 2005 and 2015, taking blood, giving them injections and performing ultrasounds.
He told multiple women they were pregnant when they were not.
Prosecutor Ray Gibson told the court Di Paolo defrauded patients of more than $385,000 but some of these sums were disputed by the defence.
The plea hearing continues, with another 11 women expected to give their victim impact statements.
Distressed readers seeking assistance should contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.