Crown accuses woman of using sex to trick millionaire

| 18/04/2016 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Michelle Bouchard

(CNS): Prosecutors accused a 55-year-old woman of using sex to trick her 87-year-old millionaire boyfriend into giving her money, claiming she did not really care for him, only his cash. On Friday, as Simon Russell Flint QC, who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the public prosecutor’s office, cross-examined Michelle Bouchard, who is accused of stealing some $2 million, he asked her about damning entries in her diaries and journals where she described James Handford as a “gravy train”.

Bouchard told the jury she was not proud of the statements but wrote it following a fight the couple had the night before she made the entry, she said Handford told her, “Go XXXX yourself!”

But the crown pointed to a second entry where she used the same term. Flint asked Bouchard to explain what she meant when she wrote, “I believe my gravy train has left the station.”

Bouchard said that by that point, she thought Handford was going to throw her out of his life. Asked what she meant when she wrote that if Susan van Dijk (Handford’s daughter) got involved in his accounts and went too far back, her days would be numbered, Bouchard said she thought that his family would be upset about how generous he had been to her.

As the incriminating entries were read to Bouchard, the court heard that she had admitted in her journal that she didn’t like to introduce friends to Handford that she thought were attractive because she feared that he may want them more than her.  The crown suggested this was because she was protecting her financial future.

In various sections of her journal she had commented negatively about Handford and the crown suggested that this was evidence that she never really wanted him and was only in the relationship for the money. She wrote that his breath was stinky, that she would never kiss him, he was an alcoholic, he would soil his bed, he was a pain in the ass, he was high maintenance and that she could not conceive of sleeping with an 82-year-old man.

Flint pressed Bouchard over why she stayed with Handford if she felt this way about him. In response Bouchard told the court, “I am human, but I legitimately cared about him and loved him, maybe in a different way than another person would, but I did.”

The crown suggested she was never going to sleep with him and that was all part of the plan to cheat him out of his money. But Bouchard said, “If he had given me written security of finance, I would have slept with him when we got married.”

“It was always with a condition, wasn’t it?” the crown asked, and Bouchard said her minimum requirement before sex was at least a house because security was important to her and sex was a serious step. The crown questioned why everything was about money and whether she was obsessed with it, a suggestion she denied.

However, when Flint asked her why love was not enough, she hesitated and said, “I didn’t really think about that.”

The crown also questioned Bouchard about sleeping with another man while she was allegedly engaged to Handford. She had written in her journals that she had sex with a stranger while she was on a cruise and described the man as being very similar to an ex-boyfriend, describing him in her journal as “Irish, Libra and lots of money”.

Bouchard said she may have slept with the stranger because of unresolved emotions for her former lover. She told the court that during the sexual encounter she was wearing the $200,000 engagement ring she bought herself using Handford’s money.

Flint quizzed Bouchard over her claims that she became engaged to Handford before her arrest and asked why she was the only one who seemed to know about it. He asked why she didn’t have a celebration, why there was no big announcement to go along with her big ring and why she did not tell Handford’s family.

Although Bouchard claimed she did tell some of her friends, she told the jury that Handford was a very private man and she had left him to be the one to tell his family. During the course of the trial so far, there has been no evidence that any of Handford’s family members were aware of any engagement.

The case continues Monday.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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