The strange case of Margaret Fleming

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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Andrew on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 7:22 am

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/vanished-margaret-fleming-only-reported-9466357

Vanished Margaret Fleming was reported missing after benefits officials went to her carers’ home to try to see her, the Record can reveal.

We understand that the Department for Work and Pensions had been paying out thousands of pounds in benefits to the vulnerable young woman for years.

But when they got an application for more payments, they decided to go to the home of carers Edward Cairney and Avril Jones to speak to Margaret, 36.

The DWP failed to find Margaret, who has learning difficulties, at the house. They alerted police, and Edward and Avril reported her missing.

Detectives then found no evidence that anyone but the couple had seen Margaret since 1999.

Edward and Avril are said to be helping police with their inquiries, and a massive search continued yesterday at their cottage in Inverkip, Renfrewshire.

Parts of the house have been demolished and sections of the garden dug up. A local resident said police had been stunned by the mess and squalor they found in the house, with one officer calling it “vomit-inducing”.

A source told us: “The missing person inquiry was initiated by the DWP.

“There have been benefits paid to Margaret Fleming for a number of years.

“An application was then received for new benefits, and this prompted a visit to the house at Inverkip from DWP officials.

“It could not be established by DWP officials where Margaret was, and whether she lived at the house where she was meant to be staying. That was when Police Scotland were called in.

“It was around this time that she was declared missing by her carers.

“Since 1999, when Margaret was last seen by anyone other than her carers, she has received benefits worth thousands of pounds.

“With housing benefit, carers allowance and disability living allowance, the amount of benefits received could be in excess of £300 a week.”

Edward, 75, and Avril, 56, became carers for Margaret in 1997. But a close friend of Avril told the Record this week that she visited the house often and never saw Margaret once.

Rosemary Connelly said: “I never met her. I never saw her at the house.

“We sat in the living room. There could have been someone else upstairs. I don’t know.”

Rosemary also went on holidays with Edward and Avril but Margaret never joined them on the trips.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Livingstone, leading the search for Margaret, has admitted he is concerned about her wellbeing.

He said earlier this week that he was keeping an open mind, but admitted: “One line of inquiry I now must consider is the possibility that she may have come to some harm.”

Major police activity continues at Edward and Avril’s home, and shocking pictures of the state of the property have emerged.

The house looks rundown and strewn with rubbish, and officers working inside have beem seen wearing face masks.

A local source said: “The police were taken aback by the state of the place when they began the search.

“There were rooms piled high with rubbish, from floor to ceiling.

“It was in a shocking state – vomit-inducing is how one officer described it to me. The building and garden are completely run down, but it was the rubbish lying around that really shocked people.”

The Department for Work and Pensions refused to give details about any benefits paid to anyone at the house.

A spokeswoman said: “As this is a police matter, we are unable to provide a comment. All
queries should be directed to Police Scotland.”

Police declined to comment on the DWP’s involvement.
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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Bampots on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 9:26 am

Well Inverkip does have a marina....and the waters are deep with very high tides!

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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Andrew on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 10:08 am

Bampots wrote:Well Inverkip does have a marina....and the waters are deep with very high tides!

I just watched that vid on the DM article I posted earlier. I noticed next door but one had a little boat moored up so I bet at some point in the past the 'carers' had one as well. Or certainly access to one.

Surrounded by sea and woodland and yet the Police are digging up the whole garden. Surely that's the last place the 'carers' would've put her. scratch
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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Freedom on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 10:10 am

I haven't read all the latest links yet but, now that we know that benefits have been claimed all these years, there really only seems to be one way that this case is heading.
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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  chrissie on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 10:29 am

Got to agree with you there Freedom...
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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  bluebell on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 10:55 am

Isn't this case so desperately sad that noone actually "missed" her for all these years.
Not one person seems to have cared enough to have any kind of contact. Poor woman.

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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Freedom on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 11:02 am

Yes, that's what I'm thinking.

What could she have done that was so bad that her mother cut her off when she was 19 (and presumably with a younger mental age than that) and never made any attempt to contact her thereafter?

It's difficult to understand how benefits could have been claimed for so long with nobody ever seeing her. Do any of our Scottish members know if the system is different to the one in England in that respect?
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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Andrew on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 11:52 am

http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/news/14971478.EXCLUSIVE_Margaret_Fleming_s_carers__are_not_under_suspicion_/

THE senior detective leading the search to find missing Margaret Fleming insists there is still no evidence to contradict the carers' claims.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Livingstone has been appealing for information on Margaret, 36, who was last seen in public in 1999.

And he has said there is yet no indication of any wrongdoing by the woman's two carers Avril Jones and Edward Cairney at their house in Inverkip, Inverclyde.


.... Does he think that she buried herself in their garden then.
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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Freedom on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 11:55 am

Going by what we read and see about the state of the house, it seems as the carers were in need of care themselves.
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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  chirpyinsect on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 2:05 pm

Freedom wrote:Yes, that's what I'm thinking.

What could she have done that was so bad that her mother cut her off when she was 19 (and presumably with a younger mental age than that) and never made any attempt to contact her thereafter?

It's difficult to understand how benefits could have been claimed for so long with nobody ever seeing her. Do any of our Scottish members know if the system is different to the one in England in that respect?
No different Freedom. I would imagine she was in receipt of DLA which has a mobility component and a care component. If there was no vehicle, she would have not had an amount kept back from her DLA. Only people who need help with their personal needs get the care component. There are different levels if DLA too.

DLA has been replaced with PIP which requires everyone to be assessed in person. The carers were probably getting Attendance Allowance, saying they were assisting Margaret with her needs. From memory this used to be about £40 a week but could be more.
I read that the police and SS visited the carers 6 weeks ago as the couple had been seeking an enhanced Attendance amount. This must have raised a red flag.
I also put it forward that the mysterious disappearance was reported to coincide with a request for Margaret to attend a PIP assessment interview, which she would be unavailable for.

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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Andrew on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 2:17 pm

Sniped:

It is believed that she could have been receiving around £300 a week, including housing benefit, carers allowance and disability living allowance.

That's about 15k a year.

Multiply that by 17 years. Shocked
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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  chirpyinsect on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 2:21 pm

It just shows you how lax checks are on payment of certain benefits yet they hound other, genuine cases and reduce payments to those in real need.

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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Andrew on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 11:20 am

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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  chirpyinsect on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 11:31 am

The Mirror ones always come up forbidden for me.

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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Andrew on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 11:37 am

chirpyinsect wrote:
 The Mirror ones always come up forbidden for me.

Police searching for vulnerable missing woman dig up grounds of her carers' squalid 'vomit-inducing' home for human remains
Margaret Fleming, 36, was declared missing six weeks ago and nobody has seen her since 1999 by anyone apart from her carers Edward Cairney and Avril Jones



Police searching for a vulnerable missing woman have searched the grounds of her carers' home for human remains.

Soil samples from the garden at the home of missing Margaret Fleming and her carers have been sent to a police lab to check for human DNA.


Vulnerable Margaret, 36, was declared missing six weeks ago. Police said this week that they knew of no sightings of her since 1999 by anyone apart from her carers, Edward Cairney and Avril Jones.

A massive search is continuing at Edward and Avril’s secluded home, Seacroft Cottage in Inverkip, Renfrewshire.

Margaret Fleming has not been seen since 1999 by anyone aside from her carers (Photo: PA)
Police Scotland officers continue to dig up a garden at the home of missing Inverkip woman
The vulnerable 36-year-old was declared missing six weeks ago (Photo: Daily Record)
A police source said: “We are carrying out tests on soil from the scene to establish if there are any human remains in the ground, or have been.

“It’s a complex operation which requires a lot of work, and specialist teams, to carry out.

“The grass has to be lifted before sections can be taken away and dug up. It’s not something that is rushed.

“Samples are being sent away for DNA analysis.”

One deep hole has been at the centre of the operation at the home and is covered with tarpaulin to protect it from the elements.

Police have been looking for human DNA in the grounds of her carers' home (Photo: James Chapelard / SWNS)
Police have been working at the property since Monday. As well as searching in the garden, they have demolished parts of the cottage.

They have been stunned by the mess and squalor in the house. A local source said one officer had described it as “vomit-inducing”.

Margaret’s whereabouts remain a mystery. Family members have told detectives they have not seen her in 17 years.

Police have admitted they fear she “may have come to some harm” but the case remains a missing persons investigation.

The officer in charge, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Livingstone, said: “There is no evidence of any crime having been committed and Margaret’s carers are still assisting us with our inquiries.

“They would ask Margaret who she was spending time with and she would say, ‘That’s private.’

“I have no evidence to contradict what the carers are telling us. There are people who do keep aspects of their lives private.

"The search continues but we haven’t found anything in the garden so far. We’re keeping an open mind.”

The Daily Record revealed yesterday that the missing persons inquiry was sparked by a new claim for benefits for Margaret, who has learning difficulties.

Officials from the Department for Work and Pensions visited her home to interview her and called in police when they could not get in touch with her.

Police visited the house with social workers after issues were raised in connection with the payment of benefits.

Officers then discovered Margaret had not been seen by anyone at the property other than her carers since 1999.

Mr Livingstone said: “We haven’t heard from anyone who has actually spoken to Margaret in that time, but we remain open to the possibility that Margaret could have been in another room.”

It is believed the DWP have paid thousands of pounds in benefits to Margaret over the years.

Edward, 75, and Avril, 56, helped Margaret deal with her money.

Mr Livingstone said: “We know she did have bank cards, but her carers assisted in the managing of her finances.”

The couple are in temporary accommodation while the search at their home continues.

They became Margaret’s carers in 1997 after her solicitor dad died, but their friends and neighbours say they never saw her at the house.

A police spokeswoman said the force could not comment on specifics of the search at Seacroft Cottage. She said only: “Inquiries are continuing.”
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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Freedom on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 11:39 am

"Forbidden fruit" - how frustrating!

I wonder why that it is - maybe because you're not in the U K?

From what we know about the conditions in which the "carers" were living, I wonder what the benefits were being spent on; certainly not on a comfortable lifestyle - if of course they were misappropriating the money, we don't know that yet.

P.S. Just been having more thoughts on this strange case. So Margaret's mother disowned her for reasons yet unknown but what about other family members and friends?

I've known of two people disowned by parents - plus a married couple who disowned both sets of parents - but in all cases, other relatives and friends kept in touch. It's really hard to understand how nobody cared enough about Margaret to check up to see if she was okay.
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Re: The strange case of Margaret Fleming

Post  Freedom on Sun 18 Dec 2016, 9:33 am

Mention of that win here.

http://www.inverclydenow.com/photostream/5470-villagers-celebrate-p2million-postcode-lottery-win

That would certainly have ruffled some feathers if pa didn't share his good fortune with his daughter!
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