Bankrupt couple had possible 'delusions of grandeur', court told

A BANKRUPT couple who held a lavish four-day wedding in Daylesford last year but then didn’t pay $45,000 owed to the venue could be suffering delusions of grandeur, according to their defence lawyer.

Margaret and George Eakins, 62 and 68, appeared together in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday where they each pleaded guilty to two charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception.

The case had been adjourned to enable the couple to pay the outstanding amount, which they said could be done in seven to 10 days. But yesterday defence lawyer Richard Oakley said the money still hadn’t been paid, saying he had received a phone call from a concerned relative who told him the couple were suffering a medical condition which could include having delusions of grandeur.

Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Pepe Brown told the court that in February last year the Eakins befriended the owner of the Daylesford Inn, initially offering to buy the business.

But when that was turned down they organised to have their wedding at the venue in May, negotiating a price of $50,000.

They paid $7000 up front and agreed to pay the rest following the event.

It was agreed after the wedding that the couple still owed $45,000, and twice Mr Eakins wrote out cheques for that amount which eventually bounced.

The plea hearing was adjourned to March 4 to enable psychiatric reports to be completed.