A fraudster has been jailed for 15 months after he revealed his ex-business associate's 12-year affair to his wife of 30 years before swindling her out of £8,510 while pretending to be an private investigator.
William Carter, 38, from from Verwood in Dorset, fell out with Richard Grey over a financial matter in early 2019 and used his knowledge of Mr Grey's affair to target his wife Paulene.
Carter wrote her a letter on March 11, 2019, revealing the affair and left a contact number Ms Grey could call to get access to pictures that proved it. He also claimed Mr Grey was seeking divorce advice.
Prosecuting, Laura Deuxberry said: 'He told her he did some private investigation work.'
The court heard Ms Grey was shown photos of her husband's car at the other woman's address but she said to Carter that it did not prove the affair.
William Carter (pictured), 38, fell out with Richard Grey over a financial matter in early 2019 and used his knowledge of Mr Grey's affair to target his wife Paulene
Carter then took things a step further by secretly recording the women telling him she had been having an affair with Mr Grey. He later played it to Ms Grey.
To further reel her in, he falsely claimed Mr Grey had his own private investigator, had bugged their home and placed a tracker on her car.
In total, Ms Grey handed over £8,510 to Carter, including £960 for him to put CCTV in her home which was not installed properly.
By the end of March 2019, 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. Carter was arrested on April 5 last year and charged with fraud.
He admitted a single count of fraud by false representation at Poole Magistrates Court on August 18, 2019.
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.
Sentencing Carter to 15 months in jail at Bournemouth Crown Court, 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
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.
Sentencing Carter to 15 months in jail at Bournemouth Crown Court, 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.
He said: 'The impact on the Greys has been really serious. 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 £3,274 compensation to Ms Grey.