Couple faked burglary to pay off debts

Picture: PA Wire
Picture: PA Wire
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A MARRIED couple faked a burglary at their home to cover up the fact that they had pawned their belongings.

Rachel and Nicholas Hodgson carried out the offence so they could make a claim on their home insurance as they struggled to pay instalments on the hire purchase items bought from rent-to-own firm Bright House.

A part time judge who handed the pair suspended prison sentences described the offence as “idiotic” and “cack-handed”. Leeds Crown Court heard police realised they were being deceived after finding the ‘stolen’ items at a Cash Converters store.

They were soon able to establish that they had exchanged a lap top, TV, games console and jewellery for cash.

John Bull, prosecuting, said Rachel, 42, contacted police on September 18 last year and claimed their home on Dove Drive, Castleford, had been broken into.

Officers took a statement from Nicholas, 32, who claimed the property had been targeted while he was out and his wife was alone upstairs.

The couple were arrested and pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Michael Collins, mitigating, said the offence carried an immediate prison sentence in most case but urged Recorder Gurdial Singh to make an exception. He said no one else had been placed under suspicion by their actions.

Mr Collins added that the couple had admitted the offence at an early opportunity. Recorder Singh told the pair that perverting justice was taken very seriously by the courts. He said: ”One only has to pick up a newspaper to see the great and the good sentenced to custodial terms for doing just this.

“However, it is clear to me that this was a cack-handed attempt to get out of financial difficulties and it was discovered in no time at all.

“You both had the good sense to plead guilty.

“No one else was involved in this idiotic attempt to procure some money.”