A man who remortgaged his partner’s house without her permission has been jailed for fraud.
Christopher Grant, 42, ran up £126,000 of debt in the woman’s name including payday loans, credit cards and a mortgage on the Blackpool home she owned outright.
At one point Grant even impersonated the mum-of-one to fraudulently claim tax credits.
His partner Jodie Davis was left “fending off bailiffs” and was warned she could go to prison if she did not pay back what was owed.
She feared her home, which she inherited in 2012, would be repossessed and she and her daughter would be homeless.
Grant, of Lockgate place, Wigan, has been jailed for 40 months after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation and theft.
Judge Heather Lloyd, sentencing, said Grant’s explanation of what he had done was “breathtakingly arrogant and completely lacking in remorse.”
The court heard in 2011 Ms Davis discovered her partner had stolen £2,500 from her by using her bank card without her permission.
However she forgave him and the pair moved into a house in Blackpool which she inherited from a family member.
The pair took out a joint bank account and went on to have a child together, but in 2018, Ms Davis removed her name from the account after discovering loans had been taken out and cash siphoned to her partner’s account.
She then learned Grant had made a fraudulent tax credit claim of £12,000 and had taken out a £40,000 mortgage against her house.
In total Grant borrowed £126,211. 61 – of which £114,000 is still unpaid.
Judge Lloyd said: “The effect of the financial crimes on Ms Davis have been devastating.
“She was particularly upset when she found out you had taken out a loan on her home, to take money from that, and she now lives in fear of her home being repossessed – when in reality she should have security.
“She is potentially liable for the debts you had amassed.
“At one point she was told, rightly or wrongly, that she would go to prison for the debts you owed.
“Whether that is right or wrong is irrelevant – what is relevant is the stress and strain she was under. ”
In a victim personal statement Ms Davis said the anxiety was so great she continues to have nightmares and has taken a toll on her physical and mental health.
She has had to take on extra hours at work and worries she will not be able to get a loan if times become difficult, as Grant has ruined her credit score.
Grant no longer has contact with his daughter and has been shunned by his family, since they learned of his crimes, the court heard.
Judge Lloyd said: “These offences comprise of fraudulent and planned predatory behaviour which appear to have spanned a significant period of time.
“It was a criminal and gross breach of trust and from all I have read about you – including the fact that you did not tell your present partner about your crimes – I agree that there is a significant risk of exploitation and serious psychological harm of her and other women.”
The judge also said she found Grant’s admission that he had set up a hidden camera to track his ex following their separation “extremely worrying” although he had not been charged in relation to that behaviour.