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Farm worker convicted of £73,000 pop fraud

A farm worker who tricked his fiancée out of £73,000 by claiming he was a wealthy singer-songwriter for well-known boy bands was convicted of fraud and theft yesterday.

Brian Simpson, 42, from Grantham, Lincolnshire, was a part-time Brussels sprout picker in the Fens when he met Linda Pinnock at a singles club in 1999. He told the 44-year-old widow that he wrote songs for Boyzone and Westlife, had met Madonna and ran a successful music company. By November 2001, Mrs Pinnock had sold her farmhouse in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire, and moved into a caravan with Simpson. She withdrew £33,000 and £40,000 and lent the money to Simpson.

A jury at Cambridge Crown Court unanimously found him guilty of three charges of obtaining property by deception and one of stealing furniture.

Judge O'Brien deferred sentencing until 21 April.