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Saturday, November 12, 2011

How could I have been so foolish? Widowed millionairess abandoned by Gambian husband of two years... and now he wants her fortune

-Widow, 59, married young Gambian a year after meeting him on dating website
-She trusted him as he had job in UK and never asked about her wealth

By Arthur Martin and Andy Dolan

Better days: Lonely millionairess Christine Ince, 59, thought she had found love again with Mustapha Jabbai, 36, seen here in 2007

After the devastating loss of her husband, lonely millionairess Christine Ince thought she had found love again with a younger Gambian man.

Aware of the potential pitfalls, the 59-year-old widow spent a year getting to know Mustapha Jabbai, 36, before agreeing to marry him.

The mother of three believed his intentions were honourable because he had a permanent job in the UK and had never asked her about her wealth.

However, shortly after their second anniversary, Mr Jabbai walked out of her £850,000 five-bedroom detached home in the picturesque village of Tilbrook, near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.

Hours later, Mrs Ince discovered their wedding certificate and other documents Mr Jabbai would need to stay in the UK were missing.

Worse was to follow. Mr Jabbai then filed for divorce and is demanding the millionairess pay him maintenance and a one-off separation payment and set him up with a pension.

In a witness statement for the divorce hearing, Mrs Ince claims the marriage was a ‘sham’ so ‘he could get an indefinite leave to remain visa’.

Assets: Christine stands outside her £850,000 five-bedroom detached home in the picturesque village of Tilbrook, near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire

She goes on to accuse Mr Jabbai of bigamy and claims the woman he introduced to her as his sister is actually his Gambian wife Yama Jabbai.

Mrs Ince believes he walked out on her just after their two-year anniversary because he had spent long enough married to her to be granted the right to stay in Britain.

‘At the time, I believed he cared for me,’ she said in her statement.

‘I have been made ill by Mustapha’s betrayal of my trust, by his lies and deceit. I feel violated as if I have been raped.

‘It is distressing for me to have lived with someone and to find out I actually know nothing about them.

Smiles: Their wedding in December 2007. She met the Gambian, who had a permanent job in the UK, on a dating site

'He has used me and my commitment to him to gain entry into the UK and [obtain] the legal right to stay here.’

Mrs Ince, a former management accountant, married Bill Ince in 1977 in Chertsey, Surrey.

They went on to have three children – Elizabeth, now 31, Charlotte, 29, and Robert, 25.

Her husband, a joint-owner of a major tyre company, collapsed at their home in 2003 and died six weeks later, at the age of 63.

Mrs Ince went on to have breast cancer but has since recovered. After a tough three years, friends persuaded her to sign up to popular dating website Plenty of Fish.

She met Mr Jabbai, who was working for PC World in Reading, on the site and the pair enjoyed a series of dates.

Meeting the family: Christine Ince and Mustapha Jabbai at their engagement party in July 2007

Family ties: Christine Ince with her new husband's family after her wedding to Mustapha on the 6th December 2007 in the Gambia

Mrs Ince told the Daily Mail: ‘Mustapha was different to all the other men I had met through the dating site.

‘He didn’t try to get me into bed straight away and he didn’t ask me about how much money I had, which some men did.

'He wasn’t a stunning man by any means but he seemed kind and caring. I know there are guys around who see me as a target because of my wealth.

‘So I checked Mustapha out in lots of ways and with lots of questions. But he never faltered and was so plausible.’

After a year the couple travelled to the city of Brikama in Gambia where they married in front of Mr Jabbai’s family and friends.

But when they returned to the UK, Mr Jabbai began to demand money from his new wife, she claims.

Experiencing her husband's culture: Christine with Jabbai's family in the Gambia in 2007

Mrs Ince says she travelled to the visa office in Croydon where she paid £1,000 for his permanent visa.

During their two-year marriage, she spent £30,000 on him which he has not repaid, she alleges.

‘After he walked out, I realised what had happened and I felt so foolish and gullible,’ she said.

‘But now I am angry because he is trying to get money from me through the divorce courts. It feels like I am on trial even though I’m the one that has been duped.’

Mr Jabbai left Mrs Ince’s home in March 2010, saying he was going to the dentist. He never returned.

Loss: Christine with her late husband Bill Ince in 2001

First wedding: Christine with her first husband, Bill, on their wedding day in 1977
The Mail has learned that two months before this, he won the right to permanently stay in the UK.

Mr Jabbai, who now lives in Coventry, has denied the accusations in a letter sent by his legal firm Hammon Solicitors to Mrs Ince.

When the Mail asked for a response from a man fitting his description at an address registered to Mr Jabbai, he claimed he was someone else.

The most recent statistics show that in 2008, 115 Gambians were granted citizenship after marrying UK nationals.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said last night: ‘We are considering requiring couples to complete a five-year probation to prove their marriage is genuine before they are eligible for settlement.

‘We will always seek to revoke the settlement rights of any foreign national who has used deception to obtain it.’



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