Mr and Mrs Deceit back behind bars

editorial image

Swindling Romeo Richard Jerome and his former schoolteacher wife Hazel are back behind bars after spinning yet another web of lies.

The middle class, middle-aged couple shocked the city four years ago when they were found guilty of being Britain’s unlikeliest squatters.

The pair, both in their 60s would pose as perfect buyers for exclusive city properties and con the vendors into letting them move in before the sale went through.

Once in, they would refuse to budge and pay no rent.

One victim was even a colleague of Hazel Jerome at Willen Primary School.

Last week a court in Exeter heard how, despite serving a 15-month prison sentence and suspended sentence respectively, Mr and Mrs Jerome were once again up to their old tricks.

They were found guilty of eight charges of fraud and deception after trying to repeat their property scam on luxury homes as far afield as Devon, Cornwall, Daventry and Helliden.

They told identical lies to con the different property owners out of a total of £3.5 million.

Richard Jerome was also found guilty of posing as a financial advisor to con a woman from Northampton out of $100,000 in a bogus investment scheme, the court heard.

He was sentenced to six years’ in prison and his wife jailed for two years and four months.

The city couple, married for 34 years and parents to three daughters, have a bizarre relationship and have stuck together even when homeless and penniless.

Yet Richard Jerome, as soon as he came out of prison the first time, turned to internet dating in a bid to find a rich woman.

The Citizen has previously revealed how he posed as a rich playboy on an internet dating site called sugardaddie.com while still living with his wife.

In a bid to find women from all over the world, he knocked 14 years off his age, added several inches to his height and described himself as a millionaire looking for a fun relationship. He even had the cheek to write on his profile: “I appreciate honesty.”

A police spokesman said at the time: “The Jeromes are a cold, calculating couple. They show no remorse. They are evil.

“Make no mistake – people have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds to this man and his wife.”