56-year-old woman, Jane Cole fell in love with a 28yr old Nigerian bartender, Michael in 2005 but got her heart broken after she realised he was just after her money.
Jane Cole, 56, knew that The Gambia in Western Africa had a reputation for being a hotbed of holiday romances between young local men and older British women.
But when she decided to take a break there with her friend Vanessa in 2005, she never thought she’d find herself caught up in one.
‘I’m quite worldly-wise,’ said Jane, from Rothwell, who considered herself too sensible to get embroiled with a younger man.But then she met Michael, a 28-year-old Nigerian bartender, and his charming, attentive nature drew her in immediately.
Michael quickly made it clear he wanted more than just a one-night stand while she was on holiday in the country. He wanted a relationship. ‘I was completely sucked in,’ said Jane.
When Michael proposed, Jane decided to keep it a secret from her younger sister Tracy, knowing she would disapprove. Instead, she flew to The Gambia and married him, leaving Tracy to call her a fool.
Michael said he wanted to move into Jane’s house with her in the UK, even though she had set her heart on a new life in The Gambia, as they had discussed. Nonetheless, she loved him, so she agreed.
But as soon as the couple arrived in the UK, Jane began to question Michael’s loyalty, especially when he began disappearing for long periods.
After calling a number that appeared frequently on his phone bill, she reached a woman with whom Michael had been having a relationship for six years.
‘When I confronted Michael he just admitted it and laughed. “People laugh then they see us together,” he said. I was devastated. My self-confidence sunk to an all-time low. He had drained me of everything, both financially and emotionally.’
‘I blamed myself for being foolish and falling for it. I’m supposed to be intelligent but I never had an inkling. I believed everything he said. And if he had told me the woman was just a friend, I’d still have believed him.’