Cumbria Crack

Closing speeches in trial of doctor who denies fraud and theft allegations

Zholia Alemi

CLOSING speeches have been delivered by barristers in the trial of a doctor accused of trying to steal the £1.3 million estate of an elderly widow.

Zholia Alemi, 55, has been on trial at Carlisle Crown Court for the past week, and denies fraud and theft allegations. It is alleged Alemi applied, in 2016, to take out powers of attorney to control the financial and medical affairs of Gillian Belham – now aged 87; and “forged” the pensioner’s will in a bid to take control of her large estate.

It is said this occurred just months after the pair first met when Alemi was instructed to carry out an assessment.

In his closing speech earlier today (WED), prosecuting barrister Francis McEntee alleged that Alemi had “set about stealing” Mrs Belham’s identity “in life” through the powers of attorney, and “defeating” her wishes “in death by forging the will”.

“We respectfully submit that is wicked,” said Mr McEntee.

Alemi, of Scaw Road, High Harrington, has not given evidence during the trial but told police she was a “family friend” of the pensioner and denied going behind her back.

Her case is that she was acting as a “Good Samaritan”, and that the will which was made had been “a genuine expression of Mrs Belham’s wish”.

Defence barrister Dafydd Enoch QC said in his address to jurors: “If condemned she must be, do it for the right reasons; do it because forensic analysis of the evidence draws you to that conclusion. You must be sure of guilt.”

Judge James Adkin is due to sum up the case this afternoon to the jury members before they retire to start deliberating.

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