Vic­tim of loan shark tells of five-year or­deal


THE VIC­TIM of a loan shark has spo­ken of how a man who posed as a “fa­ther fig­ure” dur­ing a dif­fi­cult time in his life went on to fleece him of more than £60,000 over five years.

Af­ter the death of his fa­ther and his mother be­ing di­ag­nosed with de­men­tia, the West York­shire man – who spoke to

anony­mously – was ap­proached by a “Jekyll and Hyde” char­ac­ter dur­ing a vul­ner­a­ble pe­riod in which he was a “full-blown al­co­holic”.

The man, who is now sober, hopes to raise aware­ness of loan sharks af­ter be­ing helped by Eng­land Il­le­gal Money Lend­ing Team (IMLT), while an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is un­der way.

Af­ter be­com­ing a carer for his mother, the man needed time away and went to his lo­cal book­mak­ers to play on fixed-odds bet­ting ma­chines be­fore “get­ting car­ried away with that sort of gam­bling”.

He said: “This char­ac­ter that I met of­fered to lend me money. I got into a pat­tern of bor­row­ing money and then pay­ing it back a few days later with an eye-wa­ter­ing in­ter­est rate.

“He came across as be­ing a bit of a fa­ther fig­ure. He was very sym­pa­thetic to­wards my plight of my dad dy­ing and hav­ing a sick mother. He came across as like a kind un­cle.

“Un­for­tu­nately dur­ing that time I had a se­ri­ous drink prob­lem. I was ba­si­cally a full-blown al­co­holic at the time and on med­i­ca­tions which [didn’t mix well].”

The vic­tim, a busi­ness­man, had also ac­cu­mu­lated debts af­ter try­ing to set up a new firm and was of­fered a di­rec­tor’s loan.

He men­tioned this in pass­ing to the loan shark, who later de­manded £6,000.

The vic­tim said: “Af­ter that £6,000 was paid to him, he said to me that in my drunken state I had bor­rowed more money than I had re­alised, and I came up with a pay­ment plan.”

Around £50,000 was paid elec­tron­i­cally and £12,000 in cash over the years.

The vic­tim was pay­ing him around £700 a month – and us­ing a food bank to sur­vive – but the “ag­gres­sive” loan shark still vis­ited him weekly.

Af­ter get­ting sober, the vic­tim ap­proached the IMLT be­cause he had seen its work on a tele­vi­sion doc­u­men­tary.

A slack­liner per­forms dur­ing the High­line Ex­treme event on the top of the Mole­son peak at 2,000 me­tres in the Alps, near Fri­bourg, Switzer­land, where 25 of the world’s best slack­lin­ers com­pete on six lines from 45 me­tres to 350 me­tres.

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