Grandmother jailed after stealing for man she met on holiday

Grandmother stole more than £500,000 from her boss to send to a man she met on holiday

Updated: 
Sheena Warner court case

Sheena Warner, a 65-year-old grandmother from Evesham in Worcestershire, has been jailed for stealing £500,000 from her boss, to send to a man she met in Egypt. Now she has lost everything.

The Telegraph reported that Warner met the hotel owner in Sharm el-Sheik in 2012, who hinted to her that there may be 'something romantic' between them. After she returned home, he persuaded her to invest in a property deal with him.

Unable to fund the deal herself, she decided to steal from her employer - for whom she had worked for 15 years. She stole cheques and falsified accounts - taking £514,679 over four years. The court heard that as well as sending money to the hotel owner, she also spent cash on flying out regularly to see him.

It was only when the bank contacted her boss about an unauthorised overdraft that her theft was uncovered.

According to The Guardian, when he confronted her, Warner admitted to stealing more than £100,000, and signed over her home, car and all her belongings in an attempt to pay the money back. She paid him £142,000, but hid the fact that she had stolen far more than this.

Her boss was left with significant debts, his wife left him, and he has been unable to retire. He told the court he had known Warner for 15 years, and the betrayal hurt as much as the theft itself.

Warner, meanwhile, received no benefit from the money she stole, and has been jailed for three years after pleading guilty to fraud.

The Shirley Valentine effect

This crime has destroyed a number of lives, and at its heart is what Walker thought was a long-term romance with a younger man she met on holiday. Sadly, this is not the first time an older woman has been taken in by a man she met overseas, and a number of the women involved have spoken to the press about how they were fooled - in the hope that other women can avoid being tricked in this way.

Back in June, 64-year-old Patricia Hancocks from Leicester revealed her story. She met her 26-year-old boyfriend online, and she went out to visit him in Tunisia twice. On her second visit, the pair were married, and he moved in with her in Leicester. A fortnight later he left.

In 2008, Patrina Churm, a 55-year-old divorcee from Gateshead, sold her home and all her belongings, and flew to Goa to be with a man she had met on holiday 16 years earlier. The 30-year-old man cleared out her bank account and threw her out of their home, telling her he wanted to marry a local girl.

That same year Sarah Matheson, a divorced 54-year-old IT systems analyst, was conned out of £80,000 by a 29-year-old man she met on a beach in Goa. She took out a loan against her house, and he promised to invest it for their future. She went back to the UK to try to secure him a visa, at which point she was contacted by another victim of her 'boyfriend's' group of friends, and pieced together the lies.

Jane Cole, a 56-year-old from Rothwell, met her 28-year-old boyfriend on holiday in The Gambia in 2005. She flew back out and the pair were married, at which point he said he wanted to live in the UK. She flew back with him, at which point she discovered he had been having a relationship with another woman for the past six years, and he left her.

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