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A rogue landlord conned a family friend out of £28,000 and has been jailed for four years as a result.
Mark Thorogood was found guilty by a jury of defrauding Emma Edgley, 57, who delivered a statement saying that a ‘friendly loan had turned into a nightmare’ and forced her to sell her property.
Ms Edgely also stated that there had been other victims. She continued: ‘Mentally my life was ruined. I feel stupid and duped, I find it difficult to trust anyone any more. I don’t trust my own judgement any more.’
Passing sentence, Mr Recorder Duncan Bould, said: ‘This was in my view fraudulent activity over a sustained period. You deliberately targeted a vulnerable lady whom you knew very well. It had affected “her physical health and general well being.’
Anna Pope, prosecuting, explained that Thorogood had been fined £104,000 by the Financial Services Authority. The rogue landlord was also issued with a prohibition order after submitting fraudulent mortgage applications. He had failed to comply with codes and principles, leading to his and his company Property Park Mortgages being deemed to have failed to act ‘with honesty and integrity.’
Thorogood also had previous conviction for his failure to comply with conditions of housing management and an improvement notice.
Ms Edgely agreed to lend him £15,000 and he kept to an agreement to repay at £250 a month. There had been a verbal agreement for her to transfer £28,000 in June 2010 for him to put in his solicitor’s account in order to await a mortgage, and it was agreed between them that he would repay the money to her within a couple of months.
Until this point, he appeared to keep his word. However, the money did not go into the solicitor’s account but was used for payments including outstanding mortgages on properties, and he effectively conned Ms Edgely out of her funds.
Defence barrister Myles Wilson argued that suspended sentence would allow Thorogood to support two members of his family and continue in business.
However, after the case Emma Edgley said she had no feelings about the sentence, claiming that: ‘the damage has been done’.