A Preston gran has told how she had to turn to a homeless charity to rebuild her life after losing her entire life savings to a Turkish toyboy.
Pat Ekins, 50, met 28-year-old waiter Ibrahim Halin on holiday in the resort of Marmaris four years ago and fell in love.
She claims she sold a house and ploughed £70,000 into running a bar owned by the waiter – but he disappeared soon after he received the money.
Pat, who used to live in Ribbleton, was left sleeping on the floor of a barber shop in Turkey after being evicted from her flat until a friend paid for her to fly home.
And Pat said her family back in Preston were shocked and upset she had given everything away to her toyboy.
However, her two daughters today said their mum has taken little interest in the family since she left Preston for a new life in Middlesborough around six years ago and has never met two of her three grandchildren.
Pat, who now lives Colchester in Essex, said: “I sold the house without telling them and took all the money to fund this bar in Turkey.
“(Ibrahim) told me we would make the money back and more within a year, so I thought I would be able to go back to my daughters and give them their share, with some extra. But it didn’t happen like that.
“I went to Turkey and transferred all the money into his account.
“He left the apartment, saying he was going to sign the papers, but he didn’t come back. The next day he still wasn’t there and I knew what had happened.
“It was horrible. I thought we were happy. I hit rock bottom.”
Pat says she was left sleeping rough on her return to England.
She said: “I had nowhere to go. I just kept walking around a park.
“It was unbelievable. I was frightened to got to sleep but I eventually did on a park bench. It was a proper reality check.”
Pat said she turned to homeless charity Emmaus to make a fresh start and got back on her feet, working in one of their shops in return for a bed and £35 a week allowance.
However, Pat’s two daughters Claire, 32, and Karen, 27, said they never knew she even owned a house and she had rarely been in touch since moving away from Preston.
Karen said: “My mum never had that much money to lose. I think she moved away when I was 21 because she owed people money.
“If anyone shows her a bit of attention, she falls in love with them. She dreams stuff up which is why her family don’t talk to her.”
Mum-of-three Claire added: “I think she made out to (Ibrahim) she had money. I don’t want anything to do with her.”