"I didn't dare tell them how young he was, and played down the fact that he was a waiter," she says.

"I said he was in his 30s and ran his own business.

A few years later, despairing of the lack of dates in the UK, she began to travel the world and had numerous sexual encounters with young, foreign men.

Statistically, a third of all cross-cultural "marriages" end in divorce.

Fifty-three-year-old Jeannette, from Surrey, divorced in her early 30s.

"The trouble is that for divorced or widowed women in their 40s, 50s and 60s, their male peers in the UK are either very unattractive or are looking to date much younger women.

"In countries such as the Gambia and Kenya, there is both a surplus of men and the fact that women there tend to marry men at least ten years older than themselves, which is the culture.

They were saying: 'Look, Mum, this guy is clearly a conman.' I told them not to interfere, that I knew what I was doing."As they lay together in Sarah's hotel bedroom Mohammed poured out all his financial woes: he was responsible for his elderly parents and was the only bread-winner in the family.

"He made me feel guilty if I questioned his constant need for money," she says.For Sarah was about to become one of the many thousands of British women courted by the legions of young foreign men in such tourist hotspots as Turkey, Egypt, Jamaica, the Gambia and Kenya.This summer, thousands of these middle-aged, single women will pour off the planes, to be met by countless fit, athletic-looking dark-skinned young men who will casually approach them, saying: "What a beautiful lady you are. "The chance of a harmless sexual fling, or something more sinister?The handsome young waiter's eyes followed Sarah as she walked across the restaurant, and she felt her heart beating faster as he leaned over to place a napkin in her lap."At 54, I was unused to the attention of young men, especially a handsome one in his 20s," she says.Writer Jeannette Belliveau, a self-confessed former "sex tourist" and author of a book called Romance On The Road, says the problem is becoming endemic and that these women are deluding themselves about the dangers such flings present. "In the past two years three Western women have been killed for their money by their foreign 'toy boys'."Some of these women tourists never went home after their holiday.