Man facing jail after stealing £20,000 of jewellery from widow

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Michael Turner Michael Turner

A man who wooed a widow with claims that he was a multi-millionaire business tycoon is facing a prison sentence for stealing her jewellery.

Jobless Michael Turner posed as a rich nightclub owner after meeting Philomena Golenya on an internet dating website.

Yesterday he sat in the dock at Bradford Crown Court with his head in his hands after a jury convicted him of stealing Miss Golenya’s £20,000 jewellery collection to pawn and sell.

Turner, 56, lied about his age and told Miss Golenya, of Bingley, he had bought the Majestic nightclub in Leeds for £5 million when he was claiming benefits, the trial heard.

He denied stealing jewellery from Miss Golenya, a sales rep, between October 1, 2011, and March 9, 2012, but he was unanimously convicted by the jury.

Turner was bailed to come back to court on March 5 after a probation report has been prepared on him.

He must report to a police station twice a week and sleep each night at his home address in Park Square North, Leeds.

Judge Peter Benson told him: “It was a mean-spirited breach of trust and you have a previous conviction for similar sort of offending and, in my judgement, custody is inevitable in this case.”

Turner told the jury Miss Golenya gave him the jewellery to pawn and sell to raise money for home improvements.

Miss Golenya, the mother of two daughters, said he stole the necklaces, earrings and bangles from her wardrobe.

She said Turner claimed he was a 45-year-old successful businessman.

He told her he was buying a brewery, had a fleet of commercial vehicles and would give her an expensive car.

Turner has a previous conviction for stealing and pawning his step-sister’s ring, a family heirloom she inherited from their grandmother.

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