Anglesey crossbow victim defrauded £200,000, jury hears | Wales
A 74-year-old man killed in a crossbow murder on a Welsh island and his partner have been scammed out of more than £200,000 by a ‘scam artist’ they considered a ‘good and trusted friend’, has heard a jury.
Gerald Corrigan and Marie Bailey, 68, were left with ‘virtually nothing’ after being cheated by Richard Wyn Lewis, 51, Mold Crown Court heard.
Corrigan was shot and killed with a crossbow outside his home in a remote part of Anglesey, North Wales, in 2019, the jury heard.
Opening the case, Peter Rouch KC said: ‘This murder and the reasons for it have nothing to do with this case or its issues.’ But he said that was why police spoke to Bailey in April 2019.
“It was during these conversations that the police had with her that issues related to this case first came to light,” he said.
Rouch said Lewis scammed a number of people out of money between 2015 and 2020. “He’s a fraudster. He defrauded a number of different people with varying amounts of money, sometimes hundreds of pounds, sometimes thousands, even thousands.
Corrigan and Bailey became involved with Lewis in 2015, the prosecutor said. “Both came to regard him as a good, trusted friend, not recognizing the fraudster he was.”
The court heard Lewis’ first misrepresentation to the couple regarding “the apparent potential development and apparent potential sale” of their home.
Rouch said: “There was no such potential development and there was no such potential sale. It was an invention to get their hands on their money.
He said Lewis persuaded Corrigan he could sell their house to a developer for over £2million, enabling him to buy a more suitable place for Bailey, who suffered from multiple sclerosis.
The court heard Lewis tell Corrigan he had a potential buyer and handed over the money, with no receipts or documents provided. Rouch said, “It was all a sham.”
The court heard Bailey then transferred £50,000 to the bank account of Lewis’ partner Siwan Maclean believing it was for the purchase of a former school in Anglesey which could also be sold to a developer.
But, the jury was told, the building had been sold to the town hall committee four months before.
Additionally, the couple transferred money thinking it was to buy horses, which Lewis told them were stabled in Ireland, the court heard.
Rouch said court work by a financial analyst showed the amount awarded to Lewis by the couple was around £220,000.
Two days before he was shot, Corrigan gave Lewis £200 as it was all he could afford, the court heard. He told Lewis, “There’s no more money.”
Lewis, of Llanfair-yn-Neubwll, a village in Anglesey, denies 11 counts of fraud and one count of intent to pervert the course of justice. Maclean, 53, of the same address, denies having entered into a money laundering arrangement.
The trial is expected to last four weeks.