March 13 2014 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Thursday, January 2, 2014
A Norfolk man who claims he has been hounded for years by a bank for debts he says were never his has written to the prime minister in a bid to get justice in memory of his wife who he said could not cope with the relentless demands made of the couple.
A spokesman for Norfolk police said: “Since 2009, Norfolk Constabulary has received a number of complaints of bank fraud from Mr Kerrison, each of which has been thoroughly investigated by both specialist officers and senior detectives.
“On each occasion, no criminal offences were identified and this outcome was supported by the IPCC on appeal. We have sought to keep Mr Kerrison informed throughout.”
Gordon Kerrison, 71, is still desperately trying to come to terms with the loss of his wife Jacci, who died in January last year at their home in Brisley, near Dereham.
An inquest into the death of Mrs Kerrison heard she died from an overdose of alcohol and medication with the coroner recording a verdict of accidental death.
But Mr Kerrison, who had been with his childhood sweetheart since they were 10, is convinced that Mrs Kerrison would still be here today were it not for the toll that years of being pursued for money took on her.
The former offshore worker has today insisted he will continue to fight for justice for her by exposing those who have wronged him – including those at the bank who have “harassed” him and the police, who, he claims, have failed to investigate his case.
A spokesman for Lloyds said: “This specific case dates back to 2004 when we received a complaint from Mr Kerrison about a debt dating back to 1984. This has been investigated numerous times by the group. Mr Kerrison took out a lending product back in 1984. In 1987, the accounts defaulted and went to consumer debt recovery, where the total debt at the time was £14,848.00. The customer made regular payments to the account until 2004. In 2004 we provided the attached response to Mr Kerrison. The customer then took the case to the Financial Ombudsman Service a year later, but they would not look into this case due to the passage of time that had elapsed. We believe we followed all the correct procedures and in 2009 as a gesture of goodwill, the decision was made to write off the debt. As it currently stands, we deem the matter closed.”
Mr Kerrison has written to David Cameron and sent him a DVD he has had produced. It documents his case, which started more than 30 years ago and is still going on today.
The father of two and grandfather of three who insists Mr Cameron has the “power to give my family justice”, said: “I want to see him [the prime minister]investigate. I think it’s time it was brought to the fore.”
Although he has not yet heard back from Mr Cameron he has received a letter from Downing Street which confirms his “correspondence is currently under consideration”. Mr Kerrison said his grievance with Lloyds bank dates back to the early 1980s when he was working in Libya and an overdraft was arranged in case there were problems with funds getting into his account.
He later received a letter stating he owed £1,800 from the overdraft which he started paying off and continued to make payments for 16 years until 2001 when he was called by his wife who had received a call to say the couple owed £22,000.
A spokesman said: “The IPCC previously upheld an appeal from this complainant which led to Norfolk Constabulary addressing the complaints in 2009. Following a further appeal we determined in 2010 that we were satisfied Norfolk Constabulary had adequately investigated the complaints. Norfolk Constabulary decided not to record a further complaint from the same complainant earlier this year and the complainant appealed to the IPCC against that police decision. Having considered the complaint carefully, we have determined it is substantially the same as that made in 2009 and therefore we have not upheld the appeal. We do not consider there any fresh allegations or evidence offered that significantly affects the account of the conduct complained of or the handling of the complaint investigation. We have advised the complainant and Norfolk Constabulary of our decision.”
Mr Kerrison said he called back to investigate and was threatened, with talk of them losing their home and being visited by debt collectors if they did not pay up.
When he met a senior bank manager in Norwich in 2003 he was told he had requested and been granted a loan for £15,000.
He said: “This was good news to me for the reason that I knew I had never taken a loan – and this was the reason I had been paying – and when they discovered their mistake the funds would be returned to me and there would be no more harassment.”
Mr Kerrison requested the bank supply him with paperwork which proved he had taken out the loan, but although they wrote back to say they had “no proof” they were however “convinced on the balance of probabilities” that one had been taken out.
Mr Kerrison said he and his wife, who by this time was very frail, decided to sell their house and go to Spain so they could “get away from it”.
While in Spain the letters and phone calls stopped, but they later returned to the UK, registering as a homeless couple before moving to a small flat in Norwich.
The couple’s plight gained the support of Norfolk MPs, including North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb and then Norwich North MP Dr Ian Gibson, whose intervention played a part in Lloyds writing off the remaining debt, of more than £9,000, in 2006.
But Mr Kerrison, who staged a sit-down protest outside the London Street branch of Lloyds in 2009, was convinced the bank had committed corporate fraud and contacted police after initially compiling a nine-page document to prove his case.
Frustrated by the police’s refusal to accept that this was anything other than a civil matter, he claims officers have not investigated the case satisfactorily, prompting him to refer the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
But Norfolk police, who insist the case has been investigated thoroughly, maintain that the case is a civil and not a criminal matter.