Gloucestershire

Fake lawyer Michael Cremin's £92,000 fraud of dying woman

Michael Cremin Image copyright Gloucestershire Police
Image caption Michael Cremin was convicted of six counts of fraud and one of pretending to be a barrister

A man who posed as lawyer has been found guilty of defrauding a woman with terminal cancer out of £92,000.

Michael Cremin, 41, formerly of Buncombe Way, Cirencester, conned Sandra Burch out of her life savings.

Police described Cremin as a "fantasist" who misled Ms Burch into believing the money would be used to purchase land on her behalf.

Cremin was convicted of six counts of fraud and one of pretending to be a barrister at Bristol Crown Court.

The jury heard Cremin advertised himself as a lawyer and falsely claimed to have a law degree from the University of London.

Gloucestershire Police said while he worked on several cases as a legal representative, he had no legal qualifications.

The force also said Cremin had "a history of using his knowledge of the legal system to threaten others or to distract people from his wrongdoing".

'Vindictive fantasist'

After gaining Ms Burch's confidence, he kept her money for himself and used some of it to buy a Volkswagen Scirocco worth £29,000.

Ms Burch, 51, from near Salisbury in Wiltshire, said when she came into contact with Cremin she had been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer and given 18 months to live.

She had left work due to her illness and had planned to buy the land as an investment and use it to pay for any extra treatment.

In a statement issued through police, Ms Burch described the experience as "horrendous" and "devastating".

She said: "I've always believed in trusting people. This person came across as a professional. He made me feel he was there helping me.

"I think he was hoping my prognosis was shorter so he would benefit even more from my funds."

A Gloucestershire Police spokesman described Cremin as "a fantasist" who was "vindictive when challenged".

"Now we just want the public to be aware of the issues this case raises to stop anyone else getting away with the same thing," he added.

Cremin was remanded in police custody and will be sentenced on Tuesday.

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