Woman swindled money from trusting neighbour

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A WOMAN swindled more than £300 from a clueless neighbour’s bank account while he believed she was out running errands for him.

Emma Brown, 28, also tried to steal more money from Sir Michael Brady’s account but got the pin number wrong.

Sir Brady – who paid to have his name changed to ‘Sir’ by Deed Poll, is a Doctor of Law and Philosophy, and said he felt betrayed by someone he once believed was his friend.

He said: “I trusted her with my account and my money and she broke that.

“I believed we were friends, but when I found out what was going on I couldn’t believe I’d been so stupid as to let her get her hands on my money.”

Brown had previously pled guilty to stealing £340 and trying to take a further £540 on the same day.

Today, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that she frequently helped her neighbour out by running errands for him.

But on June 10 this year she withdrew a total of £340 from a Bank of Scotland cash machine in the Liberton area of Edinburgh and tried to take more from the same machine and a Co-op Bank machine in the same area.

Depute fiscal Claire Bottomley said: “The accused had befriended the witness after moving in to a flat nearby.

“During the friendship the witness recalls that the accused was in close proximity whilst the witness was using the cash machine and could have seen his personal identification number being entered.

“The accused made numerous withdraws from the same cash machine totally £340.

“There were three separate withdraws, £200, £100 and £40 all within minutes of each other.

“Further attempts were made to withdraw money however on those occasions the PIN number was incorrectly entered.

“There were a total of eight attempts between the hours of 8.14am and 9.42am.

“On the morning after, Friday 11 June, the witness was out shopping when he realised his credit card was missing.

“It was at this point he contacted his bank who told him about the transactions the previous day.”

Defence agent Robert Moore told Sheriff Alistair Noble that Brown, from Edinburgh, had gone to visit her sister who had been hit hard by their father’s death.

He said: “She was not close to her father but of all her siblings she is close to one, her younger sister, who was deeply affected by the bereavement and that is why she felt she had to go to her assistance at that time.

“Of the money that was successfully taken she has repaid £20 of that and intends to repay the rest of it.

“Prior to this she had been running errands for him collecting his messages and he has asked her to continue to do that.

“There has been reconciliation between them there is no lingering animosity.”

But Sir Brady, 52, from Liberton, said he had not spoken to Ms Brown for almost five months.

He said: “I’ve not spoken to her since 10 June, when I found out what she was doing.

“I didn’t sit in on the court case – I want nothing more to do with her.

“She disappeared for a while after it happened, to her mother’s in Manchester I think, but I really don’t know, nor do I care.

“We have not ‘reconciled’, and I would definitely never trust her again with my bank card or anything else.

“I have no interest in speaking to her again – we were obviously never friends.”

Sheriff Noble deferred sentence further until next month to get medical reports.

REPORT: Cara Sulieman and Christine Lavelle

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