Fake celebrity chef jailed for conning girlfriend out of hundreds of pounds
A bogus celebrity chef from Winterton swindled a hairdresser after promising they would start a new life together in a £1 million home.
Serial conman Kenneth Goldsmith had just been released from prison and was living in a hostel, but convinced victim Joanne Williams he was an international businessman and catering consultant.
He claimed to be setting up an exclusive restaurant and to be a gold dealer who owned properties in Britain and abroad.
He persuaded Mrs Williams to allow him to take over the running of her finances but he looted her bank accounts of £737.36 and left her owing arrears on her mortgage, Exeter Crown Court was told.
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Goldsmith, 42, had just come out of jail for a swindle in which he claimed to be a celebrity chef who was a friend of Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Kenneth Hom.
He was so plausible he even managed to talk his way on to appearing on the TV shows Saturday Kitchen and UKTV Food.
In reality, he had learned to cook in prison kitchens while serving three different sentences totalling 12 years for previous frauds.
Goldsmith, formerly of Low Street, Winterton, and latterly of Pinhoe Road, Exeter, admitted ten frauds and was jailed for 28 days by Judge Phillip Wassall at Exeter Crown Court.
The judge said the sentence would have been in the region of 28 to 30 months.
But he said he had to take into account that Goldsmith has already spent 16 months in jail since his arrest – the equivalent of a 32 month sentence – after being recalled to serve the rest of a three-and-a-half year sentence handed down in 2009 for 20 charges of fraud, one of theft and one of disposing of criminal property.
He told him: "You are a committed fraudster.
"You have done it before and received long sentences in the past.
"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."
Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said Goldsmith was released half-way through his previous three and a half year sentence and moved to a hostel in Exeter.
He said that Mrs Williams, who was living next door to Goldsmith, knew he had been to prison – but was still deceived into believing he was a chef who had his own restaurant in Exeter.
"He moved in with her, initially as a lodger, and they started a relationship in which he persuaded her to entrust her entire financial affairs with him," he said.
"He said he would buy her a property for just under £1 million."
But Mr Crabb said she later became suspicious about his claims and he left.
David Maunder, defending, said there was evidence Goldsmith may suffer from bi-polar disorder.