Love, Actually star 'reduced to dressing in dead people's clothes' after being conned out of life savings by a friend

23 November 2022, 16:44

Meg Wynn Owen
Meg Wynn Owen. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

An actress who starred in Love, Actually and Upstairs Downstairs was forced to wear dead people's clothes out of sheer poverty, having been conned out of her £65,000 life savings by her friend.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Meg Wynn Owen, 82, whose real name was Margaret Wright, also had to have her hair cut by staff at the care home where she lived, after she was robbed of the money. She died earlier this year.

Brian Malam, 60, was jailed for two-and-a-half years for stealing the money from Ms Wynn, who suffered from dementia.

Meg Wynn Owen suffered from dementia
Meg Wynn Owen suffered from dementia. Picture: Getty

A court heard how Ms Wright and Malam became friends after working together on BBC TV shows including Dr Who, where he was a costume designer.

Ms Wright, who played the secretary to Hugh Grant's Prime Minister character on Love, Actually, gave him power of attorney and trusted him to pay the care home with her money - but he actually kept it to himself, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told the court that Malam's crimes were discovered by Ms Wright's bank when they noticed suspicious activity on her account.

Meg Wynn Owen in the Will Shakespeare mini-series in 1978
Meg Wynn Owen in the Will Shakespeare mini-series in 1978. Picture: Getty

She said: 'Mrs Wright became terribly upset about it. The matter was then reported to the police in September 2020.

"That's how the investigation with the police started and the matter came to light.

"The court heard Mrs Wright's Barclay's account was left with a £1,750.12 overdraft which was later written off by the bank. She had just £229.94 left in another account and just 72p and 21p in a third and fourth bank account.

Ms Jackson added: "The prosecution has now been made aware that very sadly the victim passed away in July this year."

Meg Wynn Owen
Meg Wynn Owen. Picture: IMDB

Malam spent much of the money on his own costuming business and on alcohol.

Judge Paul Hobson said Malam had been put in "an important position of trust carrying with it a great deal of responsibility."

The judge said: 'The position was that you were taking money from her bank account in significant funds and either transferring into your own account or spending it directly.

"As time went on you simply continued in what you were doing knowing full well the money would not be repaid realistically."

Which? expert explains how to avoid online scams and unsafe products

The judge said that Ms Wright had to get care home staff to cut her hair because she had no money for a hairdresser.

Speaking to Malam, he added: "Your victim had to be dressed in clothes that belonged to deceased residents of her care home due to insufficient funds.

Brian Malam
Brian Malam. Picture: South Wales Police

"She was reduced by your actions towards her."

Malam pleaded guilty to fraud while occupying a position of trust and was jailed for two years and eight months. A proceeds of crime hearing will take place in March next year.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Putin has visited North Korea

Putin and Kim share 'pent-up inmost thoughts' as Russian and North Korean leaders vow to forge 'multi-polar world'

Comedian Victoria Vera Blyth was killed by her husband David Thomas Blyth

Chilling words of TV star killed by British husband in final interview before tragic murder-suicide

Just Stop Oil protesters have targeted Stonehenge

Eco activists Just Stop Oil desecrate Stonehenge with orange spray in latest radical climate protest

Jay Slater's family have warned people about donating to fake pages

Sick fraudsters create fake GoFundMe page for Brit teenager missing in Tenerife

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon

Jury dismissed in trial of fugitive aristocrat Constance Marten in baby manslaughter case

s

Sir Ian McKellen breaks silence after horror fall from stage in front of West End audience

John Swinney Launches The SNP's General Election Manifesto

SNP vows ‘major investment’ in the NHS as it launches manifesto - read key pledges

Exclusive
Sunak refuses to rule out letting Nigel Farage into Tory party, says sorry on housing and defends taking cash from 'racist donor'

Sunak won't rule out letting Farage into Tory party, says sorry on housing and defends taking cash from 'racist donor'

Rishi Sunak pledges tax cuts on LBC

Sunak pledges further tax cut after inflation drops to two per cent

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Revealed: Panicked final phone call of missing Brit teenager Jay Slater who vanished in Tenerife

Justin Timberlake was arrested on a drink-drive charge in the Hamptons after a night out, police said.

Cop who arrested Justin Timberlake had ‘no idea who he was’ as star said ‘this is going to ruin the tour’

Exclusive
Rishi Sunak speaks exclusively to LBC

Rishi Sunak vows to serve as a backbencher for five years if Tories lose the election

Exclusive
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, billionaire co-owner of Manchester United, and Phones4U tycoon John Caudwell

'Only billionaires can afford Starmer's tax hikes' blasts Sunak

Exclusive
Rishi Sunak says Brits 'don't have to worry' about Tories cutting disability benefits if he wins election

Rishi Sunak says Brits 'don't have to worry' about Tories cutting disability benefits if he wins election

Exclusive
Rishi Sunak has said he is “excited” for his daughters to do national service

Sunak reveals his daughters are 'excited' to do National Service - certainly more than 'learning maths until 18'

Exclusive
Rishi Sunak said Frank Hester had "made a mistake and honestly apologised"

'He's learned from it': Rishi Sunak explains why he is refusing to hand back £15m Frank Hester donations