Original article no longer available
The Evening Standard
Emma Golightly was a wealthy businesswoman
To the men she seduced, Emma Golightly was a wealthy businesswoman who liked nothing more than to shower her lovers with top-of-the-range cars and exotic holidays.
When soon afterwards she told them she was suffering from terminal cancer, they invariably agreed to marry her.
One man, company director Chris Williams, walked down the aisle with the 22-year-old weeks after she told him she ‘didn’t want to die without being a bride’.
The truth, however, was that Golightly had no illness of the sort. Neither was she the millionairess she claimed to be.
All the gifts the men had been receiving – as well as many she had indulged in herself – had been paid for with their own credit cards.
The fantasist and serial bride was facing jail after admitting conning at least three men out of more than £100,000. She asked for 60 offences of deception into consideration.
Golightly, of Wallsend, North Tyneside, used lonely hearts columns to meet wealthy men and plunder their credit cards.
She even ripped off her own mother and grandmother to fund a lavish lifestyle.
Her deceit was uncovered after her victims were confronted with huge bills and called police.
Golightly had been due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court this week but the case was adjourned until January 30 after the sudden death of her 19-year-old brother from a suspected heart attack. Her victims spoke of their ordeals.
The heartfelt plea from his ‘dying’ girlfriend was something company director Chris Williams could not resist and two days before Christmas 2004, the couple tied the knot at Gateshead Register Office at the end of a whirlwind seven month affair.
She lied about her age on the wedding certificate, claiming she was 23 when she was 20, and a solicitor’s daughter.
But it was the cancer ruse that was the cruellest of a string of lies Golightly told the new husband she met via a lonely hearts newspaper advert.
She told him they had been given a £500 wedding gift from her father but in fact she had taken it from Mr Williams’s bank account behind his back.
Golightly insisted she would foot the £8,600 bill for their week-long luxury honeymoon in Jamaica, which she put on his credit cards without his knowledge – as was the £200 train tickets to get the couple to Heathrow.
When later confronted by her new husband she admitted her deceit and promised to pay him back but the £12,000 cheque she gave him later bounced.
When she insisted on buying expensive Land Rover 4x4s for her husband and mother three months after their marriage Golightly said she could afford to pay for the vehicles out of savings and an inheritance.
The couple visited the car showroom and plumped for a £42,000 Land Rover Discovery for Mr Williams,33, and he agreed to put down a £1,000 deposit.
Golightly brazenly told sales staff the balance would be paid by electronic transfer and asked for a second £13,000 vehicle to be kept in the showroom until Mothering Sunday as a surprise for her parent.
Once she got her hand on both cars the electronic transfers never happened and Golightly’s cheques invariably bounced.
In April 2005 Mr Williams ordered his wife out of his home. ‘It was a bad time in my life and I’d rather not talk about it,’ he said.
Undaunted, Golightly turned her attentions on to a broadcasting executive from Heaton, once again callously playing the cancer card.
Despite legally still being Mrs Williams, she even arranged to ‘marry’ her unsuspecting boyfriend – who she met on the internet – at Newcastle’s Copthorne Hotel in October 2005, a month later.
She was calling herself Chelsea Taylor this time and his friends were already trying to ring alarm bells.
One said:’ She told him she only had six months to live. He said he would rather have that short time with her than not at all and so they were bringing the wedding forward.’
Golightly claimed she was part-owner of a Gateshead club and running her own successful wedding dress company but, unknown to her boyfriend, it was his credit card she was using to pay for their big day.
After the happy couple posed on the banks of the River Tyne it soon became obvious that things were not going to plan. The chauffeur refused to leave until he had been paid and the registrar failed to appear.
One guest said:’My friend was stressed beyond belief and just wanted to marry the woman he was in love with and for her to be happy.
‘To everyone’s relief, one of the guests, who was a lay preacher, offered to do a “blessing”.’ Golightly’s ‘cancer’ drugs were later tested and turned out to be antihistamine tablets and an antidepressant.
Her ‘husband-to-be’ threw her out when he realised the extent of her lies – and called the police when credit cards bills began to arrive.
The business partner
A third victim was duped into believing he was part-owner of a Newcastle bar with Golightly, who he met on the internet .
Half was in his name, Golightly told the man she had bombarded with gifts, before confiding that she was suffering from cancer which, if terminal, meant the whole business was his.
The couple arranged a romantic trip together in Egypt which she said she had paid for but when they turned up at Newcastle Airport there were no tickets – and no holiday.
Within a short time the man realised he had been hoodwinked , and his credit cards plundered.
Another Tyneside man had a date with Golightly through a website called Dating Direct but decided she was as ‘nutty as a fruitcake’ and never saw her again.
A ‘Chelsea’ on the website describes herself as a 28 year old, divorced ‘light blonde attractive’ designer with a Masters degree and a wide range of interests – but posts no photograph.
Her date said:’ When we met she wasn’t what I expected but she certainly had the gift of the gab. She told me about her work as a leading oncologist. She talked about her great house and car, her horses. She had great imagination, she was never stumped for an answer or lost for words.