The people of Tricklewood, East London took advantage of local miser Eric Scrooge after he suffered a mental collapse, a jury at the High Court heard today.
Police Constable Stanley Gibbons described Mr Scrooge, a renowned local curmudgeon, as normally being ‘tighter than the cheeks of a choirboy’.
Constable Gibbons went on to explain that on Christmas Day 2011, Mr Scrooge was witnessed in a state of high excitement running up and down a snow-covered street in a nightshirt and bare feet, calling out for a massive goose.
When later questioned by a Police psychiatrist, the reformed miser claimed to have been visited by the ghosts of his dead business partners and then three more apparitions during the night.
However, before Police could intervene, word spread that the clam-handed Payday lender had gone ‘batshit loopy’ and soon a number of local residents, identified merely as ‘Cockney’s’, descended eager to take advantage of the old man’s plight.
Police estimate that the mad-haired former skinflint handed over the equivalent of £85,000 in cash to ‘total bloody strangers’, and instructed local urchins to remove valuables from his home, as gifts for the poor and needy. These included four widescreen TV’s, a home cinema system, gold bath fittings, £3000 of golf equipment, £20,000 of jewelry and a Vespa.
The local underprivileged then spent Christmas morning bedecked in jewels and cash cavorting in the road and singing songs about what a fine old fellow Scrooge was, even if he had lost his marbles.
Allan Dickens QC, for Mr Scrooge, said that once his client had recovered his sanity he went 'absolutely ballistic' and had immediately contacted his lawyers seeking redress.
Robert Scratchit, a former employee of the plaintiff, appeared in the dock charged with conspiracy to defraud. The prosecution claim Scratchit told Scrooge that his youngest child, Tiny Tom, was suffering from a life-threatening bout of trapped wind.
Upon hearing this news, Scrooge wrote a cheque for an all-expenses-paid trip to Disneyworld, Orlando, with a further £5,000 in spending money for the entire Scratchit family.
Van driver Tom Scratchit, 32, the co-accused, who was described as never having been sick a day in his life said he had regretted the deception the whole two weeks they were in Florida.
Scratchit added that he would happily return his share of Scrooge’s money, if only he could remember 'where either of those hookers lived'.