Serial conwoman back behind bars following fraud

A serial conwoman jailed for fleecing men she met on the internet was today back behind bars after admitting a string of fraud charges.

Emma Charlton, who was formerly known as Emma Golightly, wove a web of deceit in an attempt to fleece her grandmother and fiance out of £150,000.



The 25-year-old, of Meadowfield Gardens, in Walkerville, Newcastle, used stolen cheques in an attempt to book a lavish £73,000 wedding at a country house hotel.



She told staff at Slaley Hall Hotel in Northumberland she was the editor of Vogue magazine, even carrying a miniature dog to complete the illusion.



She told her fiance Neil Lupton she was a highly successful businesswoman who ran a chain of photographic studios, claiming her father was a judge and that she had been married to a Greek soldier.



He believed she was terminally ill with cancer and was conned into booking for her the service of a carer for two days a week.



When he grew suspicious after a series of cheques she'd written bounced, she claimed the bank had frozen her account after burglars ransacked her Leeds photographic office.



She even told him she was adopted in Africa when he grew suspicious her age did not match the date of birth on her passport.



Newcastle Crown Court heard how Charlton was snared by police after she used stolen cheques to pay for a charity fashion show using models with cancer at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead, which never took place.



Prosecutor Carl Gumsley said it was not clear exactly what had happened to all the money Charlton had conned, but that she had used it to pay for foreign holidays and currency, and goods including food, jewellery, bedding, much of which she exchanged for cash at a shop called Cash Converters.



Charlton wrote 19 cheques to a total of £126,387.90 using her grandmother's chequebook and nine cheques using her fiance's chequebook, totalling £28,402.



She also admitted making an online loan application with Alliance and Leicester in her fiance's name to obtain £8,000.



Charlton's victims suffered losses in the region of £38,000, as many of the cheques were not honoured.



Mitigating, Michael Hodson said Charlton was a deeply troubled woman who suffered from a personality disorder brought on by low self esteem.



He said: "She is not motivated by self interest. She is trying to create a fantasy world in which she feels better about herself.



"Of course, people have been desperately hurt by that."



Golightly spoke only to confirm her name.



She admitted a total of 23 charges of fraud and theft committed between September 2008 and May 2009.



She broke down in tears and began to hyperventilate as she was sentenced.



Jailing her for three years, Judge Guy Whitburn said: "What you did was to create a false world at other people's expense.



"And it was at very considerable expense, both financially, and for Mr Lupton in particular, emotionally.



"You deceived him in a way which is difficult to comprehend.



"It was a cruel thing you did to him and he lost very considerably, not only emotionally but financially as a result of this false world you were creating."



Charlton was first exposed as a serial love rat and conwoman when she was jailed in 2007 for two years for plundering the bank accounts of men she met through lonely hearts ads.



She met her victims, seduced them and then stole their cash, spending the money on exotic holidays, chauffeur-driven cars and expensive hotels and restaurants.



Golightly told one victim she was a multi-millionaire company boss and even told would-be husbands that she was dying of cancer so they would marry her.



The extent of her crime spree, including more than 80 offences, was worth £254,000, including £208,000 on fast cars.



She even ripped off her own family, using her mother and grandmother's credit cards.



Police began to probe the deceptions after her extravagant lifestyle ended in huge bills for the men she romanced.

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?