Lynn Mansel Davies exploited vulnerable people
A LOAN shark was today (Friday, March 17) given a suspended prison sentence after he loaned thousands of pounds to vulnerable victims with massive repayment rates.
A judge at Cardiff Crown Court said Lynn Mansel Davies, 58, exploited vulnerable people by using deceptive and intimidating behaviour.
Davies, from Greenwood Road, Melyn, Neath, was at Cardiff Crown Court to receive his deferred sentence after he re-paid nearly £10,000 to his victims over the last six months.
In October 2016, Davies appeared in front of His Honour Judge Curran QC to be sentenced, following a guilty plea on September 23 to two counts of illegal money lending to five victims over a seven-year period.
The Wales Illegal Lending Unit was tipped off by an anonymous call to their hotline claiming Davies was lending money illegally - without a Consumer Credit Licence - and charging £500 interest on every £1000 he lent to his victims.
The five victims were often charged a rate of £50 a week for every £140 lent, but the court learned the interest charged could sometimes be 'random' depending on how much he thought he could 'fleece from his victims'.
Cash transactions via the bank were kept to under £5,000 so that these cash withdrawals were not deemed as suspicious by the authorities.
The court had previously heard that Davies was using a property in Briton Ferry, owned by Terry Davies, who was described as a 'slow and very vulnerable man who couldn't read or write' to stash his cash from his crimes, while running a thriving car business and receiving significant state benefits.
During the time of his offending, Davies received £1, 656 a month through state benefits as well as having free use of a mobility car from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
The court was previously given to understand that a separate investigation is ongoing into the benefit payments by the DWP during the time of the offending.
His Honour, Judge Curran QC told Davies on Friday: "Your actions exploited people, drawing them deeper and deeper into debt - these were vulnerable people and you used deliberately deceptive and intimidating behaviour.
"When you last appeared in front of me, you claimed that you didn't have the funds to pay back your victims, but you have paid the money in full."
On Friday, he gave Davies an 18-month custodial sentence for each offence, to run concurrently, and suspended for two years.
He will also have to carry out a 20-day rehabilitation work course and a 9pm to 6am curfew for two months.
The Judge told Davies: "If you miss an appointment, don't abide by your curfew or re-offend, you will appear in front of me again and go straight to prison."
Following Friday's sentencing, Stephen Grey, Investigations Manager for the Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit, said: "Although the Unit always hopes that every loan shark that is brought in front of the courts receives an immediate custodial sentence, in this instance, the sentencing was deferred for six months until compensation has been paid back to his victims.
"He has paid his victims £9,715 and has been given a suspended sentence because of this.
"Loan sharks are the worst type of criminal. They may not operate on a commercial scale but their criminal activity is often targeted at the most vulnerable in society. Never borrow money from loan sharks - it is the worst possible option."