An alleged fraudster from Whittlesey used a pub as an office and pretended to be a barrister to trick people out of thousands of pounds, a court heard on Monday (23 April).
Marious Pimm (42), of Crescent Road, Whittlesey, is said to have touted for trade as a solicitor in a Whittlesey pub, before taking more than £5,000 from two people - despite never having qualified to work as a either a solicitor or a barrister.
Yesterday, Pimm appeared at Peterborough Crown Court for the first day of his trial and pleaded not guilty to three counts of fraud, and one count of wilfully pretending to be a barrister.
After the jury of six men and six women were sworn in, Michael Magee, prosecuting, told the court: “Legal professionals in this country deal with a range of matters, and in many cases these are important matters that have a significant impact on people’s lives and finances.
“Solicitors and barristers have requirements for their qualifications and training.
“They have to have a law degree, and do another professional qualification after that, as well as a period of work supervised by a qualified solicitor or barrister.
“Pimm is not, and never has been, a solicitor or barrister.
“In 2006 he obtained a law 2:2 law degree at Lincoln University, and in March 2008 he registered as a student member of the Institute of Legal Executives.
“It appears Pimm promoted himself in Whittlesey, and frequented The Boat pub.
“He used the pub as an office, and spoke freely to everyone, saying he was a solicitor, and touted for work.”
Mr Magee said Pimm had approached Andrew Hollioake in April 2010 to deal with financial problems the man was having with his plumbing business.
Pimm spoke with Mr Hollioake’s mother, Irene, and said Mr Hollioake had to raise £32,000 by August or he would lose his house.
Mrs Hollioake gave him two cheques, each worth £2,000, which were placed into Pimm’s account.
In 2008 Pimm also agreed to act as a barrister for Carol Bedford, who was assisting her sister in getting a divorce.
Pimm told Miss Bedford he was a solicitor and a barrister, even joking about the wig he wore in court being ‘itchy.’
Miss Bedford also asked for help from Pimm with financial matters, and for the two jobs gave him a total of £1,343.
He also offered to take on another case for a woman called Janet Todd, again pretending to be a barrister.
Mr Magee said: “Pimm even told his partner he was a solicitor, lying in both his professional and private life.
“He said he was a barrister, deliberately mis-reporting his qualifications to get work and money.”
He added that in police interview Pimm said he had never claimed to be a barrister or a solicitor to anyone. The trial continues.