Conman who swindled crossbow murder victim, 74, and his disabled partner out of £200,000 is jailed for six years
- Richard Wyn Lewis, 51, convinced his victims to withdraw £220,000 for him
- His crimes were only discovered after the unrelated murder of Gerald Corrigan
- Mr Corrigan is survived by his partner Marie Bailey, who has multiple sclerosis
- Wyn Lewis was today sentenced to six years in prison at Mold Crown Court
A serial conman accused of swindling a disabled woman and her elderly partner, who was later murdered by a crossbow-wielding killer, out of more than £200,000 was today jailed for six years.
Richard Wyn Lewis, 51, of Fferam in Anglesey, had previously denied eleven counts of fraud and a single charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Gerald Corrigan, 74, and Marie Bailey, 68, who has multiple sclerosis, were left with ‘virtually nothing’ after £220,000 was withdrawn – £170,000 in cash – from their accounts between 2015 and 2019, when Mr Corrigan was murdered with a crossbow in an unrelated tragedy.
Richard Wyn Lewis, 51, who has been jailed for six years at Mold Crown Court today
Lewis, who had been regarded as a ‘good and trusted friend’ of the couple, changed his pleas to admit a total of five counts of fraud part way through the trial, which was accepted by the prosecution.
He admitted fraud by making false representations to Mr Corrigan and Ms Bailey relating to the sale and development of their house, Gof Du, the purchase of horses, and the purchase of a former schoolhouse in Llandona, Anglesey.
He also admitted fraud by making false representations to neighbour Aidan Maginn relating to the purchase of a horse – the day after he first appeared in court.
Gerald Corrigan, 74, was murdered by a crossbow-wielding killer in April 2019. The motive behind the killing remains unknown
Richard Wyn Lewis admitted scamming Gerald Corrigan and partner Marie Bailey (pictured) out of more than £200,000
Judge Rhys Rowlands told the defendant today at Mold Crown Court, north Wales: ‘There were repeated acts of dishonesty over a period of five years. There are five victims.
‘Your arrogance was such, having been in court, you committed the further fraud the following day. That’s a serious aggravating feature.’
The judge said Lewis was ‘thoroughly dishonest’ and his victims taken in by him. ‘Whether you are capable of rehabilitation on release, I don’t know. Past experience would suggest not.’
The court had been told that Mr Corrigan’s murder had nothing to do with the fraud but the matters came to light when Mr Corrigan’s partner, Ms Bailey, was being interviewed by police after the shooting.
The court heard that Mr Corrigan and Ms Bailey had given an estimated £220,000 to Lewis and two days before his death Mr Corrigan was alleged to have told him: ‘There is no more money.’
Mr Rouch said Lewis claimed there was a potential buyer for Mr Corrigan’s home and said he had enlisted the help of a retired planning officer to get permission for a development.
He also advised Mr Corrigan to set up an offshore bank account, which he claimed £120,000 was needed for, and to buy a piece of nearby land.
Money was paid to Lewis in cash, without receipts or documentation being provided, the jury heard.
On one occasion Ms Bailey, a retired local government worker, had transferred £50,000 from her bank to the account of Lewis’s partner Siwan Maclean, 53.
Maclean denied money-laundering and the prosecution dropped the case against her part-way through the trial.
Wyn Lewis (pictured) was only discovered after police questioned Ms Bailey after her partner’s death
On the third day of his trial at Mold Crown Court, Wyn Lewis (pictured) was re-arraigned on the charges and entered guilty pleas to four counts of fraud
Lewis’s partner Siwan Maclean (pictured) was charged with entering into a money laundering arrangement put the charges were eventually dropped
The extensive fraud was only discovered after Mr Corrigan was murdered in April 2019 in Anglesey and police arrived to speak to Ms Bailey.
The prosecution said lying Lewis had pretended there was a potential buyer for the pensioners’ remote 35-acre home – Gof Du, near Holyhead, which they could sell for more than £2 million.
Prosecutor KC Peter Rouch said Lewis had persuaded Mr Corrigan to get Ms Bailey to fund the purchase of an old village school near Beaumaris. A builder was claimed to be ‘ovenready’ to buy it afterwards.
‘Mr Lewis told her the school and land was now hers. She now owned Llanddona school. Of course, the school and land were never acquired and not even any attempts made to acquire them,’ the KC declared.
Another alleged scam involved the purchase of horses for Mr Corrigan and Miss Bailey. It is claimed Mr Corrigan gave Lewis £90,000 for the purchase of horses to sell for profit but, including alleged stabling fees, about £177,000 was handed over by the victims in cash.
Mr Rouch said Ms Bailey is ‘disabled and vulnerable and the effect of the fraud has been devastating, her hopes of retirement torn to shreds.’
During the trial, prosecutor KC Peter Rouch told the jury: ‘Wyn Lewis is a conman. He’s a fraudster.’
He added: ‘The whole thing was a sham. It was a sham which cost Gerry Corrigan and Marie Bailey many thousands of pounds.’
In a separate fraud Wyn Lewis targeted a 69-year-old man, Aidan Maginn, who had a holiday home near the defendants’ home – the day after he first appeared before magistrates.
Mr Maginn withdrew £10,000 to buy a horse which Wyn Lewis claimed would be worth £45,000. The bank contacted police and the withdrawal was stopped. But Mr Maginn said he’d given cash to Lewis.
Wyn Lewis had also admitted defrauding the owners of two Indian restaurants in Anglesey who lost at least £4,000.
A Proceeds of Crime application will be made against Lewis who had previous convictions for deception and theft.
Terence Whall (pictured) was jailed for life after murdering retired lecturer Gerald Corrigan at home in Wales in a ‘medieval-style execution’
Ms Bailey said in an impact statement the effect of the frauds were ‘all consuming’ and she felt like a refugee fleeing a war zone. She’d been ‘very frightened’ of Lewis. ‘This fraudster attached himself like a leech,’ she declared. ‘I feel used and abused.’
Sam Robinson, defending, said: ‘We accept these are particularly unattractive offences.’
Mr Corrigan, who had previously worked as a lecturer in photography and video, was found at around 12.35am with a crossbow bolt in his chest outside his home. He died of his injuries one month later while being treated in hospital.
Terence Whall, 39, was jailed for life in February 2020 for the ‘medieval-style execution’, as well as a concurrent six-year sentence for perverting the course of justice.
The motive behind the killing remains unknown, but the judge stressed today it was unrelated to the fraud claims.
She told Wyn Lewis today: ‘His murder is an entirely separate and unconnected matter, there being no suggestion you were involved in any way. That murder tragically remains without a known motive.’
Ms Justice Jefford told Whall at his trial: ‘You have deprived Mr Corrigan’s family of any explanation for what was a horrific death in which Mr Corrigan was completely blameless. For your own reasons you clearly had a plan to kill.’
She added: ‘Your arrogant belief that you could get away with murder was misplaced.’
Whall had previously denied murdering the pensioner, who died one month after being shot in the chest with a crossbow bolt on April 19 last year.
Anna Pope, prosecuting, told the court how Whall, originally from east London, had hidden behind a wall outside the pensioner’s remote home and tampered with the satellite dish to lure him into the garden where he shot him.
Whall initially claimed he was at home in Bryngwran on the night of the shooting.
He later claimed that he was engaged in a sexual encounter with friend Barry Williams, who denied the claims, in a nearby field after the GPS device from his Land Rover Discovery was recovered.