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Britain's oldest loan shark who told victims 'you know I can find you' has been spared jail

Britain's oldest loan shark who told victims 'you know I can find you' has been spared jail

Tabitha Richardson, dubbed 'Britain's oldest loan shark', has been spared jail

Most grannies are generous and stuff birthday cards with cash, but this one has become infamous for swindling others.

Great-grandmother Tabitha Richardson has been dubbed “Britain’s oldest loan shark’ for her dodgy dealings.

Despite threatening her victims and even tell them she would 'find them', the 83-year-old has been spared prison.

Before turning to her life of crime, Richardson had worked for a legal loans company.

Though her lending licence expired in 2003, it didn’t stop the great-grandmother from loaning £126,000 to just a handful of victims.

It was then when she would charge insane interest rates, with investigators from Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit (WIMLU) claiming that she charged as much as 40 percent on her illegal loans.

'Britain oldest loan shark' narrowly avoided jail time due to her advancing years.
Wales News Service

Despite her victims already struggling to make ends meet, the great-grandmother sent threatening texts when payments were late to ensure money kept coming in.

A jury at Cardiff Crown Court heard how one man received such a text after being loaned £31,000 with an additional £12,400 interest.

The terrifying message read: “You have got to speak to me and let me know what's going on before I come looking for you.”

Another woman, who’d borrowed a sum in the region of £46,300, also received a similar text with Richardson telling her that she didn’t want them to ‘fall out’.

Investigators also found £6,500 stashed in a safe at Richardson’s garage in Newport, despite the OAP insisting she’d lost the key.

During their extensive search of her home, the anti-crime team found financial documents and loan books revealing the extent of her crimes.

Though Richardson would plead guilty to her crime, the 83-year-old was ultimately avoid prison time.

The 83-year-old charged up to 40 percent on interest rates on her illegal loans.
Wales News Service

At a hearing in Cardiff Crown Crown, the great granny was told that she avoided prison by a 'whisker' because of her advanced age.

Instead of two years in prison, she received a suspended sentence at Cardiff Crown Court.

This is despite the great-grandmother pleading guilty to a money laundering charge, as well as engaging in an activity that required a licence when not a licensee and carrying on a regulated activity when not an authorised or exempt person.

A spokesperson later said: "Loan sharks are often stereotypically portrayed as hard men wielding baseball bats.

"But Tabitha Richardson is female and despite her age, was menacing to her victims as well, threatening them when they did not pay their debt, often in the full knowledge that her victims were unable to pay."

Featured Image Credit: Wales News Service

Topics: Money, UK News, Crime