Gerald Corrigan was killed by Terrence Whall in 2019 and alleged fraud offences subsequently came to light – Richard Wyn Lewis, who he had previously befriended, is now on trial for fraud
A pensioner who was fatally shot with a crossbow was conned out of more than £200,000 in the years leading up to his death, a court has heard.
Gerald Corrigan, 74, and his partner, Marie Bailey, 67, befriended Richard Wyn Lewis in 2015 and in the following four years paid out thousands of pounds which they believed was for property developments, land sales and horses, Mold Crown Court was told on Monday.
Wyn Lewis is on trial over fraud allegations and was not suspected of involvement in the shooting of Mr Corrigan.
Peter Rouch QC, prosecuting, said the reasons for Mr Corrigan’s murder by Terrence Whall, outside his home near South Stack in Anglesey, North Wales, in April 2019, had nothing to do with the trial but the alleged fraud offences came to light when Miss Bailey was interviewed by police after his death.
He said: “Wyn Lewis is a conman, he is a fraudster, and, during the period spanned by this indictment, he conned a number of different people out of serious amounts of money, sometimes hundreds of pounds and sometimes thousands, many thousands.
“Throughout this time people lost their money and Wyn Lewis dishonestly kept it.”
He said Mr Corrigan and Miss Bailey met Lewis, 50, in 2015 and came to regard him as a “good and trusted friend”.
Lewis suggested to Mr Corrigan that he could make money by selling his home, Gof Du, for development and put him in contact with a potential buyer, John Halsall, and a man known as David who he said used to work in the planning department, the court heard.
Mr Corrigan spoke to the men over the phone, but police later found the numbers he used for them were registered to Lewis.
He handed over cash to Lewis for planning applications, the purchase of nearby land and to set up an offshore bank account, the court was told.
Daily Post Wales)
But Mr Rouch said no planning applications were made and no land was bought.
He said: “The whole thing was a sham, a complete con, which cost Gerry Corrigan and Marie Bailey many thousands of pounds.”
The couple also paid thousands of pounds to Lewis for horses which he claimed to have bought for them, the court heard.
The court was told that Miss Bailey, who has multiple sclerosis, transferred £50,000 to the account of Lewis’s partner, Siwan Maclean, which she believed was to buy a former school in Llanddona, Anglesey, that she could sell on to a developer.
Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
But, Mr Rouch said, the building had already been bought by the local village hall committee four months before she transferred the money.
He said Lewis was paid by Miss Bailey to take away her car after telling her it needed to be scrapped, but went on to sell it for £5,300.
Miss Bailey estimated they had given at least £200,000 to Lewis, the jury heard.
Mr Rouch said: “She said by the end she and Mr Corrigan were virtually cleaned out of all available cash.
“About two days before Mr Corrigan was shot with a crossbow, Mr Corrigan gave Wyn Lewis £200 in cash which was all he could afford.
“He apparently told Wyn Lewis at the time ‘there is no more money’.”
Analysis of the couple’s bank accounts showed extra withdrawals of £170,000 from the time they met Lewis, which added to the £50,000 bank transfer by Miss Bailey would make a total of £220,000, Mr Rouch said.
Ian Cooper/North Wales Live)
Lewis, of Llanfair-yn-Neubwll, Holyhead, denies 11 counts of fraud and one count of intending to pervert the course of justice.
His partner, Maclean, 52, denies entering into a money laundering arrangement.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.