Woman accused of posing as porn star to scam £35,000 from pensioner on Facebook is cleared

A woman who allegedly posed as a porn star to swindle £35,000 out of a pensioner she met on Facebook has been cleared of one of the charges against her after ‘new evidence’ came to light.

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Aysha Begum, 27, whose husband has already admitted being involved in the scam, was said to have fooled divorcee Geoffrey Hoyland out of huge sums of cash during a year-long fraud after making contact with him on a Facebook group dedicated to introducing young ladies to wealthy older men.

Her husband, Jynal Khan, who was in on the scam and earlier admitted fraud is being dealt with in a separate hearing.

Earlier jurors heard that she pretended to be a Bangladeshi exotic dancer and sent the victim a number of steamy photos of a mystery woman, claiming to be her.

Truro Crown Court heard Begum never met her victim in the year-long scam, but offered to marry him if he could raise up cash for a wedding.

She allegedly asked Mr Hoyland, 69, to send money and gifts including £20,000, which she claimed would help convince her mother that he was financially stable enough for the wedding to go ahead. She also asked for more money for a car.

The victim also showered her with presents including a gold necklace, a white sofa and an iPhone.

Begum denied spending more than £35,000 which she gained from criminal conduct between December 2014 and December 2015. She allegedly used part of the cash to pay off her mortgage, the court heard.

The jury was told that Mr Hoyland was a retired divorcee from Banbury, Oxfordshire, who lives alone with his two pet cats.

Prosecutor Paul Grumbar said: ‘He joined a Facebook page that was introducing ladies who were interested in relationships with older men. Mr Hoyland was, you may think, in many ways naive.’

He added: ‘A part of the lure… is that she rather shyly informed him she was an exotic model who was involved in making sexual videos.

‘Mr Hoyland believed they were forming a genuine relationship and she was going to see him.’

Mr Grumbar said: ‘This case is about the allegation that this lady and her husband worked together and committed what it called a dating scam to extract money from a man, in this case, a Mr Hoyland.’

He added: ‘The Crown is saying that it is all very well her husband saying he was the man responsible for the fraud, but she must have known about it and very large sums of money going into her bank account.’

But in a remarkable turn of events the fraud charge was dropped after ‘new evidence’ emerged. A decision to pursue another charge of spending criminal proceeds will be made today.

Judge Simon Carr discharged the jury saying: “New information has come to light, which sometimes happens in cases, which has caused the Crown to consider it is not appropriate to pursue the matter further in front of you.”

The second charge, of spending the money, was adjourned to give time for the prosecution to decide if it will pursue the case. If it goes ahead, it is possible that the defendant will face a retrial with a new jury.

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