Love Actually star swindled out of £65k wore dead peoples clothes in care home

An 82-year old actress who starred in Love Actually and Pride and Prejudice was swindled out of her £65,000 life savings before she died, a court has learned.

Actress Meg Wynn Owen – real name Margaret Wright – passed away aged 82 in her care home in July after suffering from dementia.

Prior to that, she gave her friend, costume designer Brian Malam, 60, power of attorney who went on to con her out of the large sum.

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Cardiff Crown Court heard how the pair became friends while working on BBC shows.

Prosecutor Abigail Jackson said Margaret had entrusted Malam to transfer money to her care home.

Instead, however, he made electronic payments to the tune of £53,000 and also transferred a further £11,000 to himself over a four-year period as her condition worsened.

Her four accounts were left with a £1,750.12 overdraft, £229.94, 72p and 21p, the court also heard.

Ms Jackson revealed that banks eventually became suspicious of the activity and raised the alarm.

She said: "Mrs Wright became terribly upset about it. The matter was then reported to the police in September 2020.

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"That's how the investigation with the police started and the matter came to light.

"The prosecution has now been made aware that very sadly the victim passed away in July this year."

Without her savings, Mrs Wright was forced to wear the clothes of deceased residents and have staff cut her hair – such were her lack of funds.

Malam, of Grangetown, Cardiff, was jailed for two years and eight months after pleading guilty to fraud while occupying a position of trust.

Sentencing, Judge Paul Hobson said: "The position was that you were taking money from her bank account in significant funds and either transferring into your own account or spending it directly.

"As time went on you simply continued in what you were doing knowing full well the money would not be repaid realistically."

A proceeds of crime hearing will take place in March next year.

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