An 83-year-old loan shark “preyed on vulnerable people” and would threaten them if they missed repayments.
Tabitha Richardson from Newport took advantage of her victims and would charge them 40 per cent interest on 28-week long loans.
One couple, who were victims of Richardson, described feeling “trapped in a cycle of debt” and had to pay the loan shark more than their income every month.
When they missed the payment, Richardson texted saying: “Just ring me, you know I can find you” and “You have got to speak to me and let me know what’s going on before I come looking for you”.
The judge stated: “Your interest charges kept them in a “cycle of debt” and were exploiting them for profit. You told probation you were doing people a favour and helping them out and were not out to make profit for yourself. You were financially stable yourself and if so, if it were not greed that led you to set the interest you did against those people who were likely to struggle with the debts, there was no need to set the interest at that rate. I reject this was not something motivated by greed, in my view it was.”
Richardson was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.
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