A conwoman who swindled author Sir Samuel Brittan out of more than £100,000 is a “cruel liar” who tried to wreck a police detective’s career with fake sex claims, the Standard can reveal.
Michelle Braithwaite, 47, faces a lengthy prison sentence for plundering Sir Samuel’s savings while posing as his carer. She splashed out on holidays, designer clothes and grooming services for her dog.
Sir Samuel, brother of late Tory grandee Leon Brittan, had handed Braithwaite control of his finances as he struggled with the onset of Alzheimer’s.
It can now be revealed that Braithwaite had been jailed in 2004 after false allegations against the police officer and subjecting him to two years of hell.
While facing cheque fraud claims Braithwaite targeted the investigating officer — who was battling cancer at the time — and accused him of pestering her for sex, indecently assaulting her in a cell and attacking her at a train station. She maintained the lies during her trial at Winchester crown court and was jailed for three years after being convicted of perverting justice, perjury and obtaining money by deception.
Her fraud on Sir Samuel started in August 2016 when she claimed to be a Cambridge graduate and lawyer to gain the trust of the Brittan family, offering to help Lady Brittan with her ailing brother-in-law Sir Samuel’s finances as she grieved for her late husband, Lord Brittan.
Southwark crown court heard Braithwaite used Sir Samuel’s money for holidays to Gran Canaria and Malta, hotel stays and a cremation for her pet Pomeranian dog.
Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith ordered psychiatric and medical assessments of Braithwaite ahead of sentencing on February 1, after she admitted three fraud charges and one of theft.
Lady Brittan said her behaviour was “such a betrayal of trust.” Braithwaite was allowed to appear in court via videolink from her home in Ladbroke Grove, with her head on a pillow.