'I completely believed he was coming back and he was going to pay me back,' Mrs Fowkes said. Everything I asked – like why the embassy couldn't help – he always had an answer for.'I believed I had started a relationship but looking back I was obviously being groomed.When I told my two sons they were devastated and blamed themselves for not questioning what I was doing.However, he never arrived, claiming he had been prevented from leaving Nigeria because of an unpaid tax bill.Two weeks later, he called again saying he was unable to pay the bill because his money was tied up in the UK – and asked for her help.'When he spoke he had a slight South African accent, which I found quite endearing.
I never thought I would be taken in by something of this kind.Of course there are people who will say, "How on earth did you fall for it?They exchanged messages and she even spoke several times on the phone to a man claiming to be her online date.He described his life in England, including details about his pets, children and past relationships.
" But to my mind, I had developed a trust with this person.'Mrs Fowkes, who has two grown-up sons, first began writing to Hawkins in April 2010 after joining a dating website.
He told her that while he was living in Britain, he was currently doing engineering work in Nigeria.