Millionaire divorcee mother-of-two tells how crack-addicted ex stole £200,000 from her as he is jailed for vicious attack on her caught on CCTV
- Sue Smith, 44, was brutally attacked by her drug addict partner Lee Longdon
- Ms Smith said her ex beat her and removed her clothes in a harrowing ordeal
- Over a three-year period, he swindled £200,000 from the mother-of-two
- Longdon was found guilty of assault occasioning ABH and fraud by false representation and ordered to serve two years and ten months in prison
A millionaire divorcee mother-of-two has revealed how her crack cocaine addicted ex stole £200,000 – while also attacking her in a vicious assault caught on CCTV.
Sue Smith, 44, was brutally attacked by Lee Longdon in August 2020 after she refused to give him cash and told him their relationship was over.
Ms Smith said her ex beat her and removed her clothes in a harrowing four-hour ordeal that saw her lose consciousness.
He eventually dragged her to an ATM and withdrew £500 from her account before leaving her in a crumpled heap.
The attack was caught on CCTV, with the black and white footage showing Ms Smith slowly buckling under the fists of her attacker.
The CCTV was imperative in convicting and jailing Longdon, with Ms Smith finally agreeing to cooperate with police as she knew there was taped evidence of her ex-boyfriend’s abuse.
Longdon was found guilty of assault occasioning ABH and fraud by false representation and ordered to serve two years and ten months in prison.
Sue Smith who was defrauded of £200,000 by her abusive ex-boyfriend, Lee Longdon, over three years
Longdon was found guilty of assault occasioning ABH and fraud by false representation and ordered to serve two years and ten months in prison
Ms Smith – who is now in a new relationship – still struggles with PTSD and has not been able to financially recover from the relationship.
She said: ‘I still have nightmares and struggle to sleep.
‘Even though I know he’s in prison I’m still terrified I’ll see him, and I am absolutely destitute.’
Throughout her previous marriage, although unhappy, Ms Smith said she had been living a ‘very comfortable’ lifestyle.
She took lavish holidays to pool-side villas in Cyprus, drove a Mercedes, carried a £1,000 Mulberry bag and wore a flashy Rolex watch.
But months into her relationship with Longdon she was living with a crack-cocaine addict who coerced and stole money from her to fuel his habit.
She first met the former window-fitter, 42, in November 2017 when the pair got chatting after her then five-year-old daughter accidentally sent him a message on Snapchat.
She explained: ‘The first time we met Lee told me that he was usually confident around women – but there was something different about me.
‘I know now that what he said was a total line, but I was gullible.’
Longdon initially told her he was in-between jobs and struggling for money.
Ms Smith said: ‘The first signs of abuse were financial. I offered to lend him money for petrol and he said he was too proud.
‘But within ten minutes he had said ‘Well actually, that would help me out,’ taking around £30 from Sue’s purse, and promising to pay her back.
She said from then on he would ask for cash daily.
The mother-of-two had ended a 17-year marriage the year before, during which she and her ex-husband built up a successful property business – at one point worth millions – when the couple cashed out just before the 2008 crash.
Longdon also promised to pay her back from renting out his own home.
In April 2018, Ms Smith was preparing to put the mortgage-free £500,000 home she had shared with her ex-husband on the market.
The CCTV was imperative in convicting and jailing Longdon, with Ms Smith finally agreeing to cooperate with police as she knew there was taped evidence of her ex-boyfriend’s abuse
She asked window-fitter Longdon to do some work around the house for £200-per-day.
Sue said: ‘He actually never left. He came on the Monday, stayed the night on the sofa and that was it.
‘He came to me in private and said my little daughter had asked him ‘Will you stay for a sleepover tonight? I like it when you’re here and I’m scared when you’re not.
‘I never thought to doubt that, but I now wonder if he guided her to say those comments.
‘When I look back at the patterns of abuse, it all seems so cliched.’
Longdon was soon living full-time at Ms Smith’s family home when she realised he was using cocaine recreationally while drinking.
Ms Smith explained: ‘What you see on telly, a drug addict doesn’t go out all dressed up for a few drinks with the boys and then come in and eat a pizza do they?
‘But afterwards he’d disappear off to the toilet for ages.
‘I was so green I had no idea what was going on.
‘Now that I know more about it I realise how easy it was for him to disappear off and do a few lines.
He would also manipulate Ms Smith and try to make her feel insecure, she said.
On one occasion he got dressed up to meet an ex-girlfriend, showing Sue pictures of the much-younger woman and bragging.
‘I just thought, well, he’s allowed to have female friends – I think on some level I knew he wanted a reaction out of me, but he wasn’t getting one,’ she said.
She explained that after her divorce, and with her family on her case, she wanted to prove she was capable of making decisions ‘on my own’.
She had been with her ex-husband since she was a teenager, and was desperate for some independence, so even though warning signs were there she ignored the red flags.
As the drug use became more reckless, Ms Smith said she could feel herself ‘spiralling out of control.’
‘I noticed that he was taking cocaine, but then it turned out he was smoking crack,’ Ms Smith said.
She added: ‘When I met him I had no idea about the drug use, it was when we were living together that I found out the entirety of it.
‘It sounds stupid but at that point I believed we were in love and it was going to stop.’
Her daughters went to live with family members as Lee’s drug use worsened and the abuse with it.
By June Longdon was ‘pushing’ Ms Smith around if she refused to lend him cash and drug-induced paranoia took over both of their lives.
She explained: ‘I had to go to the toilet with the door open because he was terrified I would sneak off and text another man.
‘I wasn’t allowed my phone, or he would download tracking apps so he always knew where I was.
‘He told me if I ever tried to leave he would sit happily in a police cell for the rest of his days knowing I was dead.
‘I’ve got a plate in my neck from a car crash in 2002 and he would always try to strangle me or push my head around.
‘I was petrified because I knew it could paralyse me.’
Their relationship descended into chaos, with periods of breaking up and getting back together, and they also frequently moved from place to place – even once shacking up in shared accommodation – as the money dwindled.
She claims at one point Longdon plugged £90,000 from the sale of a house into drugs in the space of just a few months.
Her fed-up family gave her an ultimatum – stay with Longdon or stop speaking to her parents and sister.
Ms Smith chose to stay with her ex and the family remains estranged.
Describing the night she had enough, Ms Smith explained the assault.
She said: ‘Finally, he placed a towel in my mouth. He held his hand over it and pinched my nose until I lost consciousness.
‘Luckily I came round – but he was still in the same position – although had loosened his grip.
‘At this point I truly feared for my life, I was petrified.’
Terrified, Ms Smith relented and Lee dragged her to an ATM.
He withdrew £500 and ran off after beating her and leaving her in a crumpled heap on the tarmac.
The harrowing attack was caught on CCTV, with the black and white footage showing Sue slowly buckling under Lee’s fists as he pummels her with punches.
He can then be seen swiftly pocketing Sue’s card as he legs it off in the direction of a cash point – leaving her curled in a ball on the floor.
Before the CCTV emerged, despite repeated calls from friends and strangers to go to the cops – and even a welfare check from her local force – Ms Smith was too terrified to press charges.
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