Exeter serial conman is jailed for fraud

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A conman who posed as an international businessman has been found guilty of fraud after stealing money from his girlfriend in Devon.

Kenneth Goldsmith, 42, of Pinhoe Road, Exeter, admitted 10 counts of fraud and was jailed for 28 days.

The court heard Goldsmith took over his girlfriend's hairdressing business accounts and took her money.

Judge Phillip Wassall of Exeter Crown Court said Goldsmith had spent 16 months in custody following his arrest.

£1m property

The court heard that Goldsmith, who had previously spent time in prison, had started a relationship with Ms Williams and claimed he was an international businessman with properties around the world.

He took over the running of her business accounts with Miss Williams telling the court he stole about £5,000 of her money. Goldsmith admitted stealing £737.36.

Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said: "Even though she knew he had been to prison he managed to deceive her into believing he was a chef who had his own restaurant in Exeter.

"She gave him access to all her accounts and gave him responsibility for banking the takings. She was in arrears with her mortgage and did not have much money."

Mr Crabb said Goldsmith promised to buy her a £1m property and had contacted estate agents, but did not have the money to pay when asked.

'A committed fraudster'

He said: "Mrs Williams began to believe something was wrong and she had been taken for a ride. He realised this and left."

The court heard Goldsmith had previously spent three years in prison after admitting 20 counts of fraud, theft and using criminal property totalling £120,000.

At the time he persuaded entrepreneurs to set up in business with him by claiming to be a chef who had trained at Bernard Loiseau's Michelin starred restaurant in Paris and was friends with Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey.

Mr Wassall said: "You are a committed fraudster. The hurt you have caused when you deceived someone into believing you were a man of means, a chef, and a gold dealer is great."

David Maunder, defending, said there was some medical evidence to suggest Goldsmith may have bi-polar disorder.

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