A lawyer sucked into a bizarre fraud, in which an unsuspecting woman’s home was mortgaged up to the hilt, had his sentence slashed by top judges.
Glyn Alan Wilmott, 52, helped arrange the bogus ‘transaction’ through which his accomplices obtained a £45,000 mortgage advance.
The target property was the home of Margaret Stubbs, in Royal Street, Northwich, London’s Appeal Court heard on Friday (December 18).
The loan went through despite the fact that Mrs Stubbs owned her property ‘mortgage-free’ and had no inkling about what was afoot.
“The transaction was said to be in connection with the purported sale of the house - with the money required for improvements to the property,” said Judge Richard Marks QC.
Transaction was 'complete fiction'
“Wilmott acted as the solicitor in respect of the transaction, the entirety of which was a complete fiction,” he added.
“The householder had no knowledge of any of this and had no intention of moving out of the property or undertaking any works”.
Although the plot was bound to be uncovered in time, it had a devastating impact on Mrs Stubbs, the court heard.
“She described three years of hell - being on an emotional roller coaster and with constant worries about being evicted from her own home.”
Conspiracy to commit fraud
Wilmott, of Birchwood, Chadderton, Oldham, was jailed for four years in February after he was convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud at Chester Crown Court.
But his case reached the Appeal Court as he challenged his sentence, claiming it was far too tough.
Judge Marks, sitting with Lady Justice Macur and Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, said there was a clear breach of trust involved.
But he also noted Wilmott’s previous impeccable character. He had lost his professional career and ‘faced financial ruin’.
“We have concluded that the sentence passed was manifestly excessive,” he told the court, substituting a three-year sentence.