Saturday 24 March 2018

Irish conman scammed €100,000 from dying woman

Victim: Sandra Burch. Photo: Gloucestershire Police /PA
Victim: Sandra Burch. Photo: Gloucestershire Police /PA Newsdesk Newsdesk

A terminally-ill woman has said she was forced to return to work after an Irish fraudster stole her €100,000 savings.

Sandra Burch (51) said she was terrified her cancer would spread because of the stress when she was conned by Cork native Michael Cremin.

After she was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, Ms Burch approached Cremin - who was posing as a barrister - about investing in a property deal, which she thought would make her more financially comfortable in the 18 months that she was expected to live.

Bristol Crown Court heard Cremin spent the money on at least 14 cars, including a Volkswagen Scirocco worth £29,000 (€31,500). Cremin (41) was found guilty on Tuesday of six counts of fraud and one of pretending to be a barrister.

Speaking outside court, Ms Burch, who lives in Salisbury, England, told the 'Guardian': "The money was my pension pot and little bit of money my partner had saved. At the time I'd been given 18 months, which are the statistics for secondary breast cancer. I left work so my salary went down to nothing - just a pension, which was enough to buy food and what have you.

"I was hoping the investment would give me an income and when I faced chemo I could stay home. I've now gone back to work three days a week. Every time I had a CT scan I was worried the cancer had grown because of the stress this person had put me through."

Ms Burch said Cremin has made her wary about trusting others.

She said: "This person came across as a professional. He made me feel he was there helping me."

Irish Independent

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