It has been a truly horrible day. I learnt this morning that my father's second wife, Rosetta, had died. She married my father when he was in his 80's and was a very caring wife to him during his final years, until he died aged 90 in 2003. She has had a lot of medical problems since then, and had a heart operation about 3 weeks ago, after which she went progressively downhill, culminating in her death at about 2am this morning.
What turns this sad event into a total tragedy is that, unknown to us, she had been targeted by a conman during rhe past few years. This man had befriended her and seemed to be very kind and supportive. It has now come to light that he was jailed in 1997 for 4 years (don't know how many he actually served) for defrauding 4 elderly woman out of thousands of pounds - and has been doing exactly the same with Rosetta. He gained her confidence and trust, then told her 'sob' stories about financial problems, having things like his laptop stolen from his car, needing to pay medical bills etc and she - kind-hearted soul that she was - gave him money. We have no idea yet just how much but it's certainly several thouand pounds.
I had no idea about this until last Saturday, when the police contacted me, but her cousin had grown increasingly concerned about her friendship with this man, and also suspicious about him. As the police are now investigating, we're hoping they can amass enough evidence to charge him. In the meantime he remains one of the two executors and one of the six beneficiaries of her will - how appalling is that? Are there any lawyers out there who can advise me?
This whole thing has left me sick to the stomach. I know one reads about this kind of thing, but to have it happen to someone you know hits very hard. Maybe it is a blessing that she did not live to discover how he had completely betrayed her trust in him.
To prey on lonely and vulnerable old people in this way is so completely despicable that I cannot find the words to express my utter contempt for this man. He served a jail sentence for doing this, then came out and proceeded to do exactly the same thing again. She may not be the only old person he has targeted, and is still targeting - who knows? What kind of twisted, warped personality can do this? It defies belief, and yet it happens.
I needed to 'vent' tonight after a truly horrendous day when I have been on the phone almost constantly, most of the time going around in circles in a desperate effort to find out more information. Forgive me for blogging about this, but I had to get it of my chest somehow.
I'm sad because of Rosetta's passing, of course, but I'm also so very angry too that there are such evil people in the world who will take advantage of people like her.