Three loan sharks convicted
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Finance, Legal
Three loan sharks have been convicted of illegally lending money to people in the Halton and Liverpool areas.
John Radford, 57, of Great Sankey, Warrington, Paul Holman, 35, of Halewood, Knowsley, and Sindy Hope, 50, of Runcorn, were found guilty of running their illicit business between October 2010 and March 2012.
The trio were investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team working in partnership with Cheshire Police financial investigation unit, Warrington and Halton Borough Council and Knowsley Borough Council.
Radford was previously convicted of two firearms offences after a loaded gun and a quantity of ammunition was discovered at his home in March 2012. Over £17,000 was additionally seized during the raid.
He was sentenced to eight years in prison for possession of the gun, and two years for possession of the ammunition to be served concurrently.
Cllr David Keane, executive board member for environment and public protection, said: "The results of this case should send out a clear message - illegal money lending will not be tolerated, we are working hard to catch these criminals and will take whatever action necessary."
A spokesperson for Knowsley Council said: “These convictions send out a clear message that we will not tolerate loan sharks preying on innocent victims. I want to assure those people who have fallen victim to an illegal money lender that help is available and we can offer them support to escape these problems. Help is only a phone call away and our service is totally confidential.”
DI Dave Blood, from Cheshire Police, said: "Through the close working relationship between Cheshire Police, the Illegal Money Lending Team and other agencies, a dangerous criminal, who preyed on the vulnerable people of Cheshire, profiting from fear and bringing misery to local communities, has been brought to justice.
"Cheshire Police is committed to continuing to work in partnership to alleviate distress and hardship within local communities caused by unlicensed money lenders. We will not tolerate any sort of behaviour that has a negative effect on the quality of life of local people and we would urge anyone with any concerns regarding illegal money lending to seek the appropriate help and advice."
The trio will be sentenced at Chester Crown Court in November.