Belfast Telegraph

'Lawyer' who conned cancer victim out of £92k savings is jailed

By Rod Minchin

An Irish "fantasist" who posed as a barrister to trick a terminal cancer sufferer out of her life savings has been jailed for eight years.

Michael Cremin conned Sandra Burch out of £92,000 in a fraudulent property deal to buy a £29,000 Volkswagen Scirocco.

Ms Burch (51), from Salisbury, Wiltshire, quit her job when she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and was relying on her pension when she fell victim to the fraudster.

She was forced to return to work part-time after Cremin robbed her of her life savings.

Cremin, who is originally from Co Cork, carried out other frauds to purchase at least 14 cars which Gloucestershire Police believe total more than £330,000.

The 41-year-old, who advertised himself as a lawyer and advocate but has been described by police as a fantasist, was listed on a legitimate chambers website and falsely claimed to have a law degree from the University of London. In reality, while Cremin worked on several cases as a legal representative, he had no legal qualifications but had a history of using his knowledge of the legal system to threaten people.

Expensive cars were a recurring theme, with Cremin also found guilty of making fraudulent representations to acquire finance for top-of-the-range vehicles including Toyota, Lexus and Volkswagen models.

Cremin, of Buncombe Way, Cirencester, was found guilty of six counts of fraud and one count of pretending to be a barrister following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

David Nathan QC, defending, said: "The impact upon Ms Burch is horrific. When you read her impact statement it is impossible not to be moved.

"Ms Burch is very poorly and nothing I can say can change that. This is not a man with a large record for fraudulent activity and in my submission there is a balance to be struck."

Jailing Cremin for eight years, Judge Michael Longman said he had used "bluff and bluster" to defraud his victims.

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