Fife OAP murder trial hears 97-year-old suspected the accused of stealing her money

A pensioner allegedly murdered in her own home "did not trust" the man now accused of killing her and suspected him of stealing money, a court heard.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 7:11 pm
Alleged murder victim Annie Temple
Alleged murder victim Annie Temple

Annie Temple, 97, confided in a friend that she believed Sandeep Patel had taken money from her sideboard.

The OAP - known as Nan - was found dead at her home in Kinglassie, Fife on October 25 2019.

Jurors were today also told Patel appeared "perfectly normal" when later discussing the death.

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Patel, 38, is accused of murdering Annie at her home on the day her body was found.

Prosecutors claim blunt force trauma was repeatedly inflicted on her head and body.

It is further alleged Patel – who denies all the charges against him – did "obstruct and constrict" the pensioner's airways by means unknown.

He faces further accusations of theft and fraud at the High Court in Glasgow in connection with Annie.

Witness Wendy Bradbury, 78, told a jury she first met Annie in the early 1980's while working for an insurance firm in Fife.

Annie's husband and mother later passed away and Ms Bradbury said she became an "integral part" of her own family.

The witness told the trial a "Mrs Patel", whose husband was Annie’s GP, also had regular contact her, and she had a son called Sandeep.

Ms Bradbury said she last saw her friend days before she died after she had been in hospital and described her as being "fine and in good spirits".

The court heard she later heard of Annie’s death in a call from Mrs Patel and later met with her and her son.

Prosecutor Alan Cameron asked what she spoke to Patel about.

Ms Bradbury replied: "Just the fact that Nan had died."

Mr Cameron: "How did he seem?"

She said: "Perfectly normal, perfectly fine."

Mr Cameron asked the witness if the OAP had previously spoken of any doubts about Patel.

She told jurors: "Yes, she had money gone missing from her sideboard.

"She believed the money had been taken by Mr Patel.

"She had gone into her kitchen and when she came back into the lounge, Mr Patel had been standing near the sideboard.

"It was later that she found the money had gone missing."

Mr Cameron asked if Annie had ever mentioned it again and Ms Bradbury said: "The only thing at that time was she was convinced he had taken it...she said she did not trust him."

But, the court was told Annie later said Patel was a "nice guy" who had taken flowers round to her home.

A number of carers who visited Annie after she left hospital also gave evidence today/yesterday.

Alan Brown, 56, was at the house in late April 2019 when Mrs Patel and her son - who he said he believed was called Sandeep - were also there.

Prosecutor Mr Cameron asked did he hear a conversation between mother and son.

Alan said: “A good few times Mrs Patel kept repeating: ‘why are you here?’

“Her son said: ‘Sorry, I won’t do it again’. Whatever that was, I do not know.

“I then heard something about gambling.”

Asked who mentioned 'gambling', the witness added it was "hard to decipher" who made the remark.

Susan Henderson, 60, was then at Annie's house on May 2 2019 and said the OAP appeared "agitated".

The witness stated Annie had her coat on and looked like she had recently returned home.

She told the court: "I asked did Mrs Patel take you shopping - she said 'no'.

"I asked who took her out and she said: "Sandy'.

"I said was that Mrs Patel’s son and she replied: 'yes'.

"I asked where she had gone and she said: "I have been to the bank, the building society and the post office'."

The carer recalled probing Annie on whether she had had "bills" to pay and the OAP replied: "It seemed that way."

Ms Henderson told jurors she was concerned enough to alert her team leader.

The trial, before Judge Michael O'Grady QC, continues.

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