A FRAUDSTER revealed to a woman that her husband was having an affair before duping her into handing over more than £8,000 by claiming he was a private investigator.
Married man Richard Grey had been having an extramarital relationship for around 12 years without his wife knowing.
However, after falling out with business associate Mr Grey, William Carter used his knowledge of the affair to “exploit” his wife Paulene Grey and cause “absolute havoc” on the couple’s lives.
Carter, aged 38 and of Woodlinken Close, Verwood, charged Ms Grey thousands of pounds for ‘private eye detective work’ to gather evidence against her husband.
This fraudulent investigator claim led to him being jailed for 15 months at Bournemouth Crown Court on October 20, consecutive to his current term of imprisonment for a separate matter.
Prosecutor Laura Deuxberry said Carter’s targeting of the couple, who had been together for around 30 years, began in March of last year after having some form of money dispute with Mr Grey.
On March 11, 2019, Ms Grey received a letter which said her husband had been seeing another woman. Carter, who sent the letter, left a contact number, said he had images to prove the affair and that Mr Grey was seeking divorce advice.
Ms Deuxberry said: “He told her he did some private investigation work.”
Ms Grey was later shown photographs of her husband’s car at the other woman’s address but she said that did not prove the affair.
The defendant played Ms Grey a recording of a conversation between himself and the woman her husband was having an affair with. This female met Carter on March 12 and divulged information about the relationship although she did not know it had been recorded.
Carter’s deception grew in the weeks that followed, alleging Mr Grey had his own private investigator, that he had bugged their home and a tracker had been placed on her car – all of which was false. In total, Ms Grey handed over £8,510 to Carter, including £960 for CCTV to be put in her home. The court heard it was not installed properly.
She transferred large sums of money to her uncle for safe keeping due to fears about what was going on with her husband.
By late March, Mr Grey had moved out of the couple’s home and Ms Grey had grown suspicious of Carter. In the first few days of April, 2019, she spoke to police about the situation.
The defendant was arrested on April 5 last year and charged. He admitted a single count of fraud by false representation at Poole Magistrates’ Court on August 18 of this year.
A victim impact statement from Ms Grey said: “I felt unsafe in my own home and nearly had a breakdown.
“I don’t know how I managed to keep it together.”
Mr Grey said he had been left on edge all the time by the episode.
Mitigating, Chris Gaiger said Carter was suffering in prison, with the defendant already serving at least two years in custody for a conspiracy to commit fraud offence.
Judge Robert Pawson QC said Carter, who had an “appalling” criminal record, used the revelation of Mr Grey’s affair to exploit his wife’s emotional distress and vulnerability.
“The impact on the Greys has been really serious,” said the judge. “Her life (Ms Grey) was turned upside down. Both of them became paranoid. There were in fact two victims.
“Your behaviour had a serious detrimental affect on your two victims, in particular Ms Grey.”
Carter was ordered to pay compensation to Ms Grey.
Source: Daily Echo