A lonely grandmother who claims she was cheated out of £ 18,000 by her Ghanaian toy boy lover and accused of beating him has warned other women not to be as naive as her.
Former probation officer Beth Haining fell in love with Rodney Cudjoe, a Ghanaian musician 30 years her junior.
"I was a stupid old woman who should know better," said 68-year-old Beth of Redditch, Worcestershire.
“I've always laughed at women who fall in love with these handsome overseas toy boys and think about how gullible they are. Now I am one of them. & # 39;
Gran Beth Haining fell in love with the charms of Ghanaian toy boy Rodney, a 30-year-old musician, and married the 39-year-old after flying to Accra in December 2014 to meet him
Beth of four met Rodney, 39, after the couple chatted online in December 2014.
She flew to Accra, the capital of Ghana, where he seduced her and proposed to her in front of his friends.
Beth carried on with the wedding, even though her children at home asked her not to.
But after paying a spouse visa and spending £ 18,000 of her savings on her new bridegroom and his business ventures, she claimed the gentle, attentive man she fell in love with had grown grumpy, moody, and cold.
He moaned at the food, the freezing British winters, and accused Beth of treating him like a slave when she asked him to paint her living room blue.
After Beth rowed nonstop, she eventually refused to extend his visa and gave him the money to fly home to the airport along with the taxi fare.
Instead, he stayed in the country falsely accusing the 5ft 5ins grandma of beating him so hard that she split his lip – which meant she had to be questioned by police after they showed up on her doorstep.
Now she's warning other women not to fall for cheat tricks after Rodney cheated on her for £ 18,000 and reported her to the police when their marriage fell apart and she beat him up
She has not been charged with assault and is now divorcing Rodney on the irreversible breakdown of their marriage after complaining to the Home Office that he would not be returning to Ghana. They shortened his permission to stay in the UK.
"He told me I was beautiful and he loved me, but he lied to me and used me," said Beth.
“I had just sold my house when we met and had some savings.
I fell in love with him and thought he was real. I thought this was my dream romance come true and wasted it on attentions and gifts.
“I paid for everything and we talked about starting a business together because I wanted us to be happy.
“We had the best time in Ghana, it was magical. He couldn't do enough for me.
"He told me I was beautiful and he loved me, but he lied and used me," said Beth, who paid for his visa and took him to see her in the UK before his mood changed
“We had sex in the morning, at noon, and in the evening – it was at least three times a day every day.
But Rodney changed as soon as he came to the UK. He slept more time on the sofa than in my bed.
“He argued and screamed about everything – the food, the cold and the need to find work.
“He got a job in a packaging factory when I said I didn't have enough money to pay for everything. But he said, "How can you be broke when you're British?"
He thought this was the land of milk and honey.
& # 39; It was a rude awakening to seeing the reality of British life and living with me. He was a completely different person – he screamed or pouted for days.
“My two children and friends didn't like him and when they came by he went to another room. I thought it was a culture shock and he would adapt.
"I wanted it to work, but at some point I realized it was all a lie."
When their relationship broke down, Beth and Rodney agreed that he would return to Ghana as his visa had to be renewed.
"I gave him the flight and the money for the taxi, but he took the key from the front door and didn't leave," Beth said.
I had to change the locks and then two police officers came to the door and said he accused me of attacking him. I never thought he would try to get me arrested.
Beth said she knew their marriage had failed, but she never thought the record producer would report her to the police and accuse her of attacking him
“I'm half his size, twice his age, and I've never hit anyone. It was ridiculous, but they asked me to make a statement, so I was questioned at the local police station for an hour.
“I was petrified, but fortunately I had a lawyer and the police released me without further action. I couldn't believe the man I loved, who I brought here so we could be together, could blame me.
The attorney even recognized me because he read my reports when I was a probation officer. It was so embarrassing and I knew I had to divorce Rodney. & # 39;
Beth first fell in love with record producer Rodney after they met online in December 2014.
She said, “I was a little lonely because my sister Gaynor had died a few years earlier and my mother Barbara was diagnosed with dementia, but he was very friendly and talkative. We got on well. & # 39;
Soon the two of them were sending messages and then talking to each other every day.
"I thought we were friends, but he said I had nice hair and he couldn't wait to touch it," she said.
“We'd seen pictures of each other and there was a huge age difference so I didn't know he was flirting first. I liked him and after a few months he asked if he could borrow some money while waiting for a check.
“It was only £ 200 and he promised to pay me back. Then he needed some money on studio equipment and put on some shows where we'd split the profits, and I sent him another £ 2,000.
“We started to meet. I have been to Ghana before when I was raising funds and volunteering in orphanages and he asked me to visit him. & # 39;
She flew out to meet Rodney in August 2015 – and he literally swept off her feet at the airport.
"He picked me up and kissed me on the cheek, but in the car he gave me a kiss that gave me butterflies," Beth said.
“I realized we weren't just going to be friends and that night we had sex.
“We spent all of our time together, eating and drinking out and meeting all of his friends. He always had his arm around me and kissed me. He couldn't do enough for me. & # 39;
Rodney even asked Beth to marry him four or five times, but she declined, saying they didn't know each other well enough.
A week before she was due to fly home, they went to a club – and he stood on the stage and suggested.
He said he wanted to spend his life with me and arranged a surprise wedding five days later on October 7, 2015, the day before I was supposed to fly home.
All of his friends were there and they clapped and cheered. I didn't feel I could say no, ”says Beth.
“I loved him, but I thought it was too early to get married.
I called my kids who told me not to do it. They said he was too young and I don't know him but I thought it was love. & # 39;
The next day, she bought a green wedding dress, the rings, and asked her neighbor to send in her divorce papers from her first marriage, which had ended in the 1970s.
How to spot an online scammer
The Citizens Advice Bureau offers the following tips to help protect your identity and money from online scammers:
- Only allow someone to access your computer remotely if it is from a trusted source, such as B. from your Internet service provider
- Create long, unique passwords and use a mix of random numbers and lowercase and uppercase letters (the longer the password, the harder it is to guess – a 10-digit password is better than an 8-digit one).
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- Do not open any suspicious or unknown emails, email attachments, texts, or pop-up messages such as: E.g. an email with an unusually worded subject line
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“When we turned in our papers, I realized Rodney's real age. He had told me he was 40, but when I saw his date of birth I realized that he had lied and was really 30.
“I was a bit shocked, but by then it was too late.
Beth flew home the next day and paid a lawyer £ 3,000 to apply for Rodney's visa.
It was approved in February 2017 – and he flew to the former three-bedroom meetinghouse she had eventually left by her mother.
"My mother gave me half when she died and left the other half in trust to her husband's children, although I can live here for the rest of my life," explained Beth.
I was excited to see Rodney, but he was a completely different person. He didn't stop moaning and nothing I did was good enough.
“I had a pension, but I also ran workshops for people with depression and anxiety, but I wanted him to work and he got a job in a packaging factory.
"He sent all the money back to Ghana to buy equipment for a music studio, so I paid all the bills in the UK."
Beth found her husband cold and aloof – and they only had sex once this year. “He wanted kids and I said I obviously couldn't have them and he then said there was no point in having sex.
He started criticizing me saying he didn't like my cooking and wanted to cook his own food, like yams, plantains and rice.
He also said I would treat him like a slave when I asked him to do things around the house. I told him "this is just a husband" but he didn't like it.
He thought I should do anything since I was his wife. I once asked him to clean up his mess and he struck a knife on the kitchen countertop so hard that he damaged it. I was a bit scared. & # 39;
Beth said she tried to make the marriage work, but after continual rowing, she decided to end their relationship.
“We went to dinner with friends and he told them that he had three swimming pools in his house in Ghana when in reality he has a fish pond. I hated seeing him lie and I realized it would never work, ”she said.
He asked me for another chance and said he loved me. He bought flowers and tried to shower me with affection, but it was too late. & # 39;
Eventually Rodney agreed to go home, but Beth says she saw the key to the front door was missing. After changing the locks, she thought this was the end of her nightmare in marriage.
But she was shocked when the police arrived to question her that Rodney had alleged she had attacked him twice, slapped his face and tore his lip open.
After making a statement at the local police station, she started a divorce case.
She also told the Home Office that she was divorcing Rodney because she didn't want to be with a man who could lie to the police who I attacked him. & # 39;
She is now waiting for her divorce, which so far has cost her £ 1,400 to be finalized and has already changed her name back to Haining.
Now she wants to warn other women not to be as naive as she was.
"I keep wondering how I could have been so stupid as to be accepted by him," she said. & # 39; I thought it could never happen to me. My job had been doing risk assessments with criminals for years, so I figured I could never be fooled by a man.
“But I fell for everything and realized that it was all a lie. I was a stupid old woman who fell in love on the Mills and Boons chat of a handsome younger man from Africa, but he just wanted me for my money.
“I cried over all of this for a year and put four stones on it. Now all I need is that divorce to get through and get on with my life without him. & # 39;
Beth has now co-authored a book about her experience, The Girls Who Refused To Quit.
Rodney, who lives in Birmingham and is seeking asylum, said, “I loved her. It wasn't an act. I wanted it to work. The money wasn't for me, it was for companies to create a future together. My visa expired on October 27th and she hit my face twice in May.
The Home Office wanted to know why I had left my home and I had to explain that I was a victim of domestic violence. I spoke to the Citizen Advice Bureau and Immigration Aid who said they couldn't help me if I didn't file a formal complaint with the police. I spoke to the local police as part of the trial, that was all. & # 39;
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