Notorious con artist Margaret ‘Beth’ Hood had wormed her way into the family of the woman who lives in special sheltered accommodation in Lanarkshire.
But after being exposed and confronted on Thursday the 63-year-old con-artist didn’t bother to offer an explanation and instead did a runner from the pensioner’s flat.
Hood by name and ‘hood’ by nature – the
Sunday World exposed her cruel fake cancer claims that eventually landed her in Belfast Crown Court in 2012.
A judge took pity on Hood after it was claimed she suffered from a personality disorder called ‘pseudologica fantastica’, causing her to crave attention, and handed her a suspended sentence.
We revealed over a decade ago the heart-breaking story of how she conned a west Belfast family whose father was dying of terminal cancer.
The caring Toman family were taken in by Hood’s claims that she too was dying of cancer and even took her into their home and gave her money to visit a fictitious cancer specialist in the US.
She took thousands of pounds and went to the US but not for treatment – instead she spent it on a holiday in Las Vegas.
Since then this paper has highlighted dozens more victims who came forward – including her husband who said she’d even conned him before leaving him with nothing – as Hood continues to target vulnerable pensioners.
Now a member of the Toman family has urged the authorities to finally put a stop to Beth Hood’s wicked ways.
“The authorities need to take this woman out of society, she needs jailed or locked up in a secure hospital if that story is the one she wants to pursue,” Ciaran Toman said last night.
“The people of Scotland need to know this plague on society is working her way through their communities. Hopefully she will run out of road before many more victims are impacted by the repugnant game she plays.
“There’s no limit to the depths she will go to build that trust , she is an extremely dangerous individual.
“The day she entered our home and violated my father’s final stages of his life was her biggest mistake. The media exposure from that has saved this latest victim from yet another abuse of trust and ultimately financial loss.”
Two years ago we revealed she’d turned up in Scotland where she conned several people with her cancer lies including a vulnerable granny before she was rumbled and fled back to Belfast.
Now she’s turned up in the Lanarkashire and had been living in the town of Hamilton.
Posing, dishonestly, as a former nurse Hood, who also goes by the name Marbeth ‘Marbie’ Lynn, had convinced the elderly woman’s family to pay her a small fee for helping out with care and also into giving her a key to her flat as she was helping with medication.
But the evil fraudster was exposed after another resident in the flats, who Hood had been trying ‘work’, posted newspaper articles about her fraud convictions in Belfast, to the caretaker of the flats.
The woman’s granddaughter, who asked not to be identified in fear of embarrassing her gran, told the
Sunday World how the family had concerns about Hood but their gran had been enjoying her company.
“Everyone in the family is furious with Beth Hood because it’s an evil thing to do – to target a 97-year-old woman,” she said.
“She moved into the retirement flats about a year ago but she moved out to other accommodation in Hamilton six months ago.
“We think she did this because she knew she was going to work the people in this complex and she didn’t want to live here in case she was exposed.
“There are around 40 flats and we know she’s been targeting others. We only discovered who she was when another resident who lives here printed out a newspaper article about her court case in Belfast.
“My aunt was waiting for her when she arrived at my grandmother’s flat on Thursday morning. She told Beth, ‘Don’t bother taking off your coat, we know all about your past’.
“She didn’t try to explain or apologise, she just threw the flat keys at my aunt and ran straight out the door.
“We think we got off lightly because she only told us this week she was dying from cancer. We think she might have been sizing us up for a bigger hit or to maybe even convince my gran to write her into her will.
“What Beth didn’t realise is my gran had a power of attorney, thank God. Even though we were paying her a small fee she was still tapping my gran for £20 here or there.
“There was always a sob story or disaster with Beth’s life. She was always pleading poverty. Be it her evil husband who stole her pension or her landlord who had left her in debt and she was always angling for money.
“We have only told our gran a fraction of what Beth had done in her past. My gran said to me, ‘I know I can’t see Beth anymore but I’ll miss her’.
“I cried when she said that because she’d obviously enjoyed the company without realising Beth was just pretending to be her friend so she could get money out of her.”