Romford man Jim Gotobed claims pyschic ‘hypnotised him into falling in love with her’

File picture: PA

File picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A man claimed a blonde psychic “hypnotised” him into falling in love with her after reading his fortune in Tarot cards before duping him out of thousands of pounds, a court heard.

Jim Gotobed, 50, a former amateur racing driver, of Laurel Crescent, Rush Green, lavished £12,000 on Tracie Long during a ten-month affair during which he divorced his wife of 25 years.

He told Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court he had felt “hypnotised” after his sessions with Long, coming out of each one “more deeply in love with her”.

Father-of-two Mr Gotobed was taken to court accused of harassment of Ms Long but was cleared.

She accused him of repeatedly texting her, writing to her parents, contacting a local newspaper, reporting her to the Spiritualist Workers Association and threatening to kill her.

But magistrates believed Mr Gotobed rather than Ms Long, 48, of Queen Street, Chelmsford.

Chairman of the bench Ian Fuller said she had been “evasive” in her testimony and Mr Gotobed had been “honest, straightforward and convincing”.

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Mr Gotobed had known Ms Long 30 years earlier and their friendship was re-kindled through Facebook.

He said she began doing Tarot readings for him – though she claimed they were non-professional “mini-readings” – and she spoke of a “dark force about him.”

She said it related to his marriage and that he should “get a quick divorce,” the court heard.

Further readings and guided meditation followed said the unemployed former area sales manager at a Barking insulation firm.

They “showed a need for money,” he claimed.

As a result he sold his prized racing car, other cars, his guns and guitar collections.

He also arranged for his wages to be paid into her account and then handed in his notice after she told him he wasn’t earning enough, he told the court.

He said she told him their future was predicted in the cards and they would marry by Christmas last year – something she denied.

He is now back with his ex-wife, Josie, and they are planning to re-marry.

But Ms Long said he was distraught when she inexplicably ended their relationship.

She said she made it clear she was not interested and told him to stop contacting her but he carried on trying to win her back.

She described his love as “obsessed”.

She had told the court: “He rang and said: ‘I’m going to shoot you. I’m going to ruin your life’.”

But in his evidence he said he would “never have harmed her.”