Love Actually actor Meg Wynn Owen had £65,000 stolen from her by friend and costume designer, a judge has ruled.
Owen died aged 82 in June this year. She suffered from dementia and was moved into a care home in Cardiff, Wales, in 2015.
According to Wales Online, her move came months after her friend Brian Malam, 60, was named her power of attorney due to her dementia in 2014.
Malam had pleaded guilty to fraud when he appeared in court for sentencing. He received a sentence of 32 months in prison.
Delivering Malam’s sentence, a judge said that the costume designer had abused the legal powers that he had been granted and “betrayed” a friend of his.
The Cardiff Crown Court heard that Malam’s visits to Owen became less frequent before they stopped altogether.
Prosecutor Abigail Jackson said that Malam was stealing tens of thousands of pounds from her savings account. This was done through bank transfers, direct spending, and cash withdrawals.
Jackson continued to explain that Malam failed to continue depositing money into a special account that the staff at the care home would use to buy essentials for Owen.
The court heard that due to this, the staff had no money to buy clothes for Owen meaning that she had to be dressed in clothes that had belonged to deceased residents.
A happy birthday to #MegWynnOwen who many viewers will know best as Hazel Bellamy in Upstairs Downstairs (showing every Wednesday at 2pm on #TPTV), but has appeared in countless films and television shows. pic.twitter.com/63Vg4VtchB
— Talking Pictures TV (@TalkingPicsTV) November 8, 2022
In addition to this, staff had to cut her hair because there was no money to pay for a hairdresser.
Malam’s crimes came to light when worried staff accompanied Owen to her bank to examine her financial situation in October 2014.
Malam stole £65,000 from Owen over the course of approximately four years.
Incredibly sad to read about the death of Meg Wynn Owen, who played Hazel in “Upstairs Downstairs” and Anne Hathaway in “Will Shakespeare”. A superb actress with one of the loveliest voices I’ve ever heard. pic.twitter.com/Pu1ieXZr6j
— Steven Veerapen (@ScrutinEye) November 24, 2022
Malam said that he had intended to pay her back, stating that he thought she would have wanted him to have the money as she had allegedly told him that he would inherit her money when she died.
Andrew Davies, the barrister for Malam, said that Malam had known Owen for decades and was the only person caring for her in the later years of her life.
The money was used to keep Malam’s costume design business afloat, according to Davies.
Malam was sentenced to 32 months in prison due to a one-third discount for his guilty plea.