A 74-year-old man killed in a crossbow murder on a Welsh island and his partner were swindled out of more than £200,000 by a “conman” they had regarded as a “good and trusted” friend, a jury has heard.

Gerald Corrigan and Marie Bailey, 68, were left with “virtually nothing” after they were cheated by Richard Wyn Lewis, 51, Mold crown court was told.

Corrigan was fatally shot with a crossbow outside his home in a remote part of Anglesey in north Wales in 2019, the jury heard.

Opening the case at Mold crown court, Peter Rouch KC said: “That murder and the reasons for it have nothing whatsoever to do with this case or the issues in it.” But he said it was the reason for police speaking to Bailey in April 2019.

“It was during those conversations police had with her that matters to which this case relate first came to light,” he said.

Rouch said Lewis conned a number of people out of money between 2015 and 2020. “He is a fraudster. He conned a number of different people out of varying sums of money, sometimes in the hundreds of pounds, sometimes in the thousands, many thousands.”

Corrigan and Bailey became involved with Lewis in 2015, the prosecutor said. “Both came to regard him as a good and trusted friend, not recognising the fraudster that he was.”

The court heard the first false representation made by Lewis to the couple concerned the “apparent potential development and apparent potential sale” of their home.

Rouch said: “There was no such potential development and there was no such potential sale. It was a figment thought up to get his hands on their cash.”

He said Lewis had persuaded Corrigan he could sell their home to a developer for more than £2m, allowing him to buy somewhere more suitable for Bailey, who had multiple sclerosis.

The court heard Lewis told Corrigan he had a potential buyer and he handed over cash, without receipts or documentation being provided. Rouch said: “The whole thing was a sham.”

The court heard Bailey went on to transfer £50,000 to the bank account of Lewis’s partner, Siwan Maclean, believing it was for the purchase of an old schoolhouse on Anglesey, which could also be sold to a developer.

But, the jury was told, the building had been sold to the village hall committee four months before.

In addition, the couple transferred money believing it was to buy horses, which Lewis told them were being stabled in Ireland, the court heard.

Rouch told the court work by a financial analyst showed the amount given to Lewis by the couple came to about £220,000.

Two days before he was shot, Corrigan gave £200 to Lewis, because that was all he could afford, the court heard. He told Lewis: “There is no more money.”

Lewis, of Llanfair-yn-Neubwll, a village on Anglesey, denies 11 counts of fraud and one count of intending to pervert the course of justice. Maclean, 53, of the same address, denies entering into a money laundering arrangement.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

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