Love Actually actress had to wear dead people’s clothes after costume designer stole her money

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NEW YORK CITY – DECEMBER 3: Meg Wynn Owen attends the premiere of

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A British actress was forced to wear clothes from the deceased while living in a care facility after her boyfriend and costume designer stole thousands of dollars from her, a judge ruled.

Margaret Wright, aka Meg Wynn Owen, appeared in Actually love Doctor Who, and Pride and prejudice. The actress, who died last summer, suffered from dementia in her later years and moved into a care home in Cardiff, Wales, in 2015. The move came months after Brian Malam, 60, was granted power of attorney due to her mental health. state, according to Wales Online.

During the criminal proceedings against Malam, who had already entered a guilty plea to fraud, prosecutor Abigail Jackson alleged that he stopped visiting Wright and began stealing tens of thousands of pounds from her savings account. Jackson alleged that Malam was withdrawing cash and transferring money from Wright’s account to his own account while acting as her power of attorney, Wales Online reported.

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Brian Malam

Brian Malam

South Wales Police

In the role of trustee, he reportedly transferred money from Wright’s bank accounts to the care center so that employees could buy supplies for the actress. Instead, Malam would have made only a few payments, leaving Wright without the need for clothes and a hairdresser.

Due to a lack of funds, employees dressed Wright in clothes of deceased residents and cut her hair, the court was told, according to the outlet.

In October 2014, staff knew something was wrong with Wright’s finances, so they took her to her bank to review her statements. Once there, it was revealed that Malam had stolen from her, according to the prosecution.

According to Wales Online, the Office of the Public Guardian investigated the matter before local police intervened. Authorities determined that Malam had taken £65,000 (more than $78,000) from Wright over four years.

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“Ms. Wright became terribly upset about it. The case was subsequently reported to the police in September 2020,” Jackson said at his sentencing, according to The mirror. “That’s how the investigation with the police started and the case came to light.”

Speaking to police after his arrest, Malam confessed to taking money from Wright to buy supplies for his work. However, he said he “always intended to pay her back,” per The mirror.

Despite his reason, Judge Paul Hobson told Malam that he was in “a significant position of trust with great responsibility. … The allegation was that you took money from her bank account in substantial amounts and either transferred it to your own account or spent it directly” , according to Leading Britain’s Conversation.

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“As time went on, you just went on with what you were doing, knowing that realistically the money wouldn’t be paid back,” continued Judge Hobson, per LBC.

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Hobson told Malam, according to the outlet, “Your victim had to be dressed in clothes that belonged to deceased residents of her care home due to insufficient funds. She was diminished by your actions towards her.”

He was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison, per The mirror. He will spend up to half that time before completing his sentence through community service.

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Malam’s lawyer Andrew Davies said in court proceedings that Malam and Wright had been friends for years and that Malam was the only one who looked after Wright. He pointed out that Malam didn’t spend her money on “flash cars or luxury vacations,” but instead funded his costume design business, Wales Online reported.

He said Malam suffered from alcoholism and “it all vanished in a miasma of booze”.

Davies did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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