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Burnhope businessman facing lengthy jail term for £1.6m fraud
A BUSINESSMAN who admitted fleecing people out of about £1.6m in an investment scam is today (Monday, February 17) behind bars.
Judge Guy Whitburn said Reid faced a substantial prison sentence for the “bare-faced fraud” of people who trusted him.
Speaking after the hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, one victim said the “Jekyll and Hyde” Reid had conned her out of more than £31,000 left to her by her late husband - after giving a glowing eulogy at his funeral.
Judge Guy Whitburn QC said: “This is an appalling fraud on people who trusted him, in an area in which he was extremely well known and others recommended. This was a bare-faced fraud.”
Jamie Adams, defending, asked that Reid’s bail be extended to allow him the opportunity to “get his affairs in order”.
Refusing bail, the judge said: “It is inevitable that as serious fraud as this will be punished by a substantial period of imprisonment. In my view that should start now.”
A 67-year-old widow, who did not wish to be named, told The Northern Echo: “When my husband was diagnosed with cancer he only survived for three months.
“And we thought David Reid as such a a good friend of the family.
“He walked behind my husband’s coffin to the church and gave the eulogy at the church standing in front of the coffin.
“He knew I had this money to come. David had told us – my husband as well, before he died – that he could invest this money for us.
“This money was to help me once my husband had gone.”
She added: “After he died David helped me with the probate.
“As far as we knew he was a solicitor. I found out since he isn’t. He was like a Jekyll and Hyde. He was totally believable.
“That is why it hit me so hard. You couldn’t believe it.
“At the funeral he gave a magnificent spiel about my husband being such a good friend. “To me that has now made a mockery of the whole thing.”
Reid will be sentenced in the week commencing March 17.