A Kettering gambling addict who admitted taking out an extra £20,000 on a joint mortgage behind his wife’s back has been sentenced at court.
Mark Hingston, 43, of Eskdaill Street, Kettering, appeared at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (Friday, January 4) after pleading guilty to two charges of fraud by false representation and one of theft.
Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking QC heard how Hingston had moved in with his former wife in 2013 and eventually the pair took out a new joint mortgage including an extra £5,000 to free up their finances.
But Mrs Hingston then received a letter from the bank about an extra £20,000 of borrowing that she knew nothing about.
Her husband told her that it was money wrongly taken by conveyancers involved in the arrangement of the mortgage and that he would make a complaint.
A few weeks later, £20,000 was deposited into her bank account and she believed this to be the repayment of the money.
But when she suggested paying the money back off against the mortgage, Hingston persuaded her to keep it as the interest would only be a little extra each month.
In fact, this £20,000 was the proceeds of another loan that Hingston had taken out to cover his tracks.
The court heard how the pair then separated in 2015 after Mrs Hingston discovered that her husband had a serious gambling addiction when he spent £900 on a credit card belonging to her.
She then discovered a letter with her own forged signature on it that gave permission for £5,000 to go into her account and £20,000 into her husband’s account from the mortgage the pair had taken out two years previously.
It then emerged that Hingston had asked for all correspondence loans to be delivered to his work address.
The court heard how Hingston had also taken out subsequent loans without his wife’s permission and had amassed debts of £52,000 which he was now paying off.
He had also asked bookmakers to ban him and had installed an app on his phone that stopped him from playing online fruit machines.
Sentencing him to a six month community order, Judge Lucking QC said: “I’m not going to send you to prison.
“You pleaded guilty at a very early stage and you are taking steps to deal with your gambling addiction.
“You were in the grip of a serious addiction.”
The six month community order includes a requirement to attend a rehabilitation programme to help Hingston deal with his gambling problem.