Ipswich: Pressure over loan shark debt led woman to defraud library
12:32 14 January 2014
An Ipswich woman who defrauded Suffolk’s library service of £675 to repay a debt to a loan shark has been spared jail.
Lorraine Jay, 46, of Cotman Road, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation between April 14 and April 19 last year, when she appeared before Ipswich magistrates.
The court also heard her son, Ryan, who worked at libraries in Ipswich and helped set up a youth charity Club 4 Teenz Community Trust, was due to be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court.
The 20-year-old, also of Cotman Road, had previously admitted 10 offences of theft by employee and six offences involving the forging and cashing of cheques. The total amount of money involved in those charges runs into several thousand pounds.
Outlining the case against Lorraine Jay prosecutor Rosalind Cappleman said Ryan Jay had been a volunteer at Gainsborough Library from the age of 14 and had helped to set up Club 4 Teenz.
He then found employment at Ipswich Library in Northgate Street. During the course of that employment Ryan Jay took cash and cheques.
The court heard Lorraine Jay cashed a cheque for £675 at the Money Shop less commission, so her son could repay a loan shark on her behalf.
Dino Barricella, representing Lorraine Jay, said: “She was on state benefits. She ran up debts she couldn’t pay. She couldn’t get a loan and went to, what would be fair to say, was an unscrupulous debt collector who made up the repayments as they went along.
“As a result Miss Jay got into debt. Her son wanted to help out his mother. Gradually the debt collector put pressure on the son, who was a volunteer at the library and had set up various charities, and he wanted to help out his mother.
“This was an unsophisticated offence. They were always going to be found out.
“The money went entirely to the debt collector. My client has never seen the money.
“This was not an elaborate fraud to fund some sort of addiction or fund some extravagant lifestyle. This was done to get an unscrupulous debt collector off her back.
“It gets worse because the cheque bounced. The Money Shop is now pursuing her for the money. She is in a complete lose-lose situation.
“She still owes money because it was a bounced cheque.”
Magistrates gave Jay an 18-month community order and told her she must pay £60 to the victims’ fund.
The court heard the money lender is currently under investigation.
Ryan Jay is due to be sentenced in the three weeks commencing January 28.