Derbyshire gambling addict took out £55,000 in loans in loved ones’ names

A judge has branded a Derbyshire gambling addict who took out £55,000 in loans using friends’, neighbours’ and his two brothers’ bank accounts “truly despicable”.

Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 7:45 pm

Chris Flitter, 42, told the unsuspecting victims he needed their bank details to transfer funds into – however he then used them to apply for over 25 loans and transferred money into his own account.

Altogether the defendant attempted to borrow over £200,000, however many of his applications to lenders were declined.

Conman Flitter successfully borrowed over £23,000 using his “thoroughly decent” neighbour’s details and £18,000 using one of his own brother’s accounts.

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Flitter was sentenced at Chesterfield Magistrates Court in a room reserved for Derby Crown Court

Recorder Michael Auty QC told Flitter: “What you did was truly despicable – two of your victims were your own brothers.

“One of them was a neighbour who had shown you nothing but kindness and the other was a trusted friend. You tried to enrich yourself of £200,000.”

Gregor Purcell, prosecuting, told Derby Crown Court how over the period of year between 2019 and 2020 Flitter’s victims were given “assurances” that “matters would be put right” after he had mislead them.

However the court heard his female neighbour “may never recover” from Flitter’s frauds.

Mr Purcell said one of Flitter’s dupes was a friend of over 10 years with whom he had been on holiday and “shared school pick-ups”.

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He added: “It perhaps gave the defendant the confidence to contact him and inform he had been involved in some investments ready to pay out and asked (the victim) to allow payments to be paid into his accounts.”

The court heard Flitter, who had no previous convictions and was father to teenage children, successfully took out £7,500 in his friend’s name while applications for another £20,000 were declined.

Shannon English, defending Flitter, told the court it was “clear” that “something had gone wrong” for her client.

She added: "At the time of the offences he was not in work, having been made redundant by his employer, he started gambling as a means to survive.

"He accepts he also took out payday loans, he had a gambling addiction.”

Judge Auty said: “Mr Purcell described your conduct as sophisticated – I regard it as determined, it lasted for ten-and-a-half months.”

The judge, suspending a two year jail term for two years, said the starting point in terms of sentence after a trial would have been five years in jail.

However after mitigation and credit for his guilty plea that could be reduced to two years.

He said: “If I had sent you away for something like that today what would that have done to your family?

"This was now sometime ago – between two and three years and there has not been any repetition

"Part of the sentencing process is to consider the hope of rehabilitation and so in the end and by a hair’s breadth I take a wholly exceptional course with you.

"Not out of any sympathy particularly for you but out of a good deal of sympathy for your wife and your children.”

Flitter, of Brierley Road, Ripley, admitted nine counts of fraud. He was handed 200 hours unpaid work.

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