A 68-YEAR-OLD gran has been left distraught after falling head over heels for a toyboy who ended up being a conman – and swindled her out of £18,000.
Beth Haining, who enjoyed ‘magical’ sex and a whirlwind romance with her African lover, is now warning other women of her plight.
The remorseful gran had put away savings through a lifetime working as a probation officer and social worker before falling for a man 30 years her junior, even wedding him in a ceremony in Ghana.
Beth met her toyboy on social media and says she fell for him over flirty messages.
Speaking to the Mirror, she said: “I should have known better.
“I used to laugh at women falling for good-looking toy boys from abroad and think how gullible and silly they are. Now I’m one of them.”
Beth was 63 when she met Rodney, who worked as a musician in Accra, Ghana, the same place Beth ran a charity that helped orphanages.
She said: “We had a mutual friend and both loved music. Rodney was a producer, working with some big names in Ghanaian music.
“I was a bit lonely as my sister Gaynor had died a couple of years earlier and my mum had been diagnosed with dementia. But Rodney was very friendly and chatty. We got on well.
“I thought we were friends, but he started saying I had nice hair and he couldn’t wait to touch it.”
She continued: “We’d seen pictures of each other and there was a huge age difference – he told me he was 40 – so I didn’t realise he was flirting at first.
Before long, Rodney had asked for money and Beth, who had taken a shine to her new pen pal, obliged.
Beth lent Rodney £200, and later another £2,000 to buy some music equipment, which he promised to pay her back for.
Soon after that, the pair started to discuss meeting in real life, with Rodney requesting that Beth visit him in Ghana, which she did in 2015.
“He picked me up and gave me a full-on kiss in the car which gave me butterflies,” she said.
“I realised then we weren’t just going to be friends and that night we had sex.”
The couple enjoyed a whirlwind romance, with Rodney asking Beth to marry him multiple times during her visit.
She said ‘no’ four or five times, stating that they just didn’t know each other well enough, while she was due to fly home in a week.
But Beth changed her mind when Rodney popped the question a night out at a club, when he stood on stage and proposed.
“He said he wanted to spend his life with me and had arranged a surprise wedding for five days later, the day before I was to fly home.
“All his friends were clapping and cheering. I didn’t feel I could say no. I loved him but I thought it was too soon.”
Beth rushed out the next day to buy a wedding dress, rings and asking a neighbour to send over her divorce papers from her first marriage in the 1970s.
But during the ceremony, Beth was ‘shocked’ to discover her new hubby was in his 30s – not his 40s – but she said it was ‘too late’ to go back.
She flew home and paid a lawyer £3,000 to arrange a spouse visa, which was granted in February 2017, leading to Rodney coming to live with Beth in her three-bed home in Worcestershire.
Things started to go downhill from there, with Rodney ‘moaning’ constantly and often sleeping on the sofa instead of the bed, according to Beth.
She said: “He would argue about everything – the food, the cold and having to find work in a packing factory.
“He said, ‘How can you be broke when you’re British?’ He thought this was the land of milk and honey.
“My children and friends didn’t like him. I thought it was a culture shock and he’d adapt. Eventually I realised it was all a lie.”
The relationship broke down and Beth asked him to leave, paying for the money to fly him home and for the divorce application, which cost £1,400.
Rodney alleged that Beth attacked him, which she denied, with no further action taken.
Beth said: “Now I just want to get on with my life without him.
“I was a stupid old woman who fell for the Mills and Boons chat, but he just wanted me for my money. I’ve cried for a year and put on four stone.”
Beth’s daughter, mum-of-three Sarah Haining, said she always had reservations about her mum’s toyboy husband and was suspicious of him from the start.
She said: “I was shocked when my mum rang me two days before her wedding to say she was getting married.
“I told her, ‘You can’t. He’s a lot younger than you and no one knows anything about him’.
“I didn’t like him from the moment I met him.
“I thought he was arrogant and rude. The first time we met him he went off and didn’t speak to anyone.
“We thought he was after her money straight away.”
Sarah added that she was ‘relieved’ her mum and Rodney went their separate ways, claiming that Beth is ‘100 per cent better off without him.’
For more shocking real life stories, a ‘tacky’ wedding guest was shamed for turning down invite to her own niece’s big day – because she didn’t have a plus one.
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