Loan shark with ‘no morals’ in court

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A loan shark who told a woman to pay him back by selling her body for sex has avoided prison today.

James Stone, 59, of Garden Close, Wyke, seized the woman’s bank card and told her to prostitute herself – and when she laughed at the suggestion he said ‘I’m not joking, I have no morals’.

Bradford Crown Court heard today Stone had lent about £11,000 to 28 customers between January 2010 and February 2011, charging 100 per cent interest.

Police raided his house after he was reported to the illegal moneylending team. They found £2,400 in cash in a bedroom waste bin and two bank cards belonging to clients in his wallet.

Mitigating, Nigel Edwards said Stone’s actions fell somewhere between ‘co-operative money lending’ and illegal loan sharking, and said he suffered from sleep apnoea, high blood pressure and memory loss.

He was found guilty of four counts of illegal moneylending at an earlier hearing.

Judge Peter Benson sentenced him to nine months in prison suspended for two years.

He said: “Money lending is a strictly regulated industry and anyone who does this without a proper license must expect to receive a custodial sentence.”