Two Norfolk sisters-in-law have today admitted their parts in a ‘loan shark’ business which loaned more than £100,000 to almost 70 people.

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Michelle Bailey, 45, of Thurlin Road, King’s Lynn, and Marie Bailey, 43, of Fox’s Lane, West Lynn, appeared at Norwich Crown Court today to be sentenced having previously admitted being involved in a money-lending business which did not have a consumer credit licence between July 2008 and November 2009.

The court heard the loan records seized on November 11 2009 indicated they had a total of 67 customers, who between them had loans to the value of £109, 496.

The loans they were responsible for ranged from £100 to over £11,000.

Joseph Giret QC mitigating for Marie Bailey said his client has had these proceedings “hanging over” her for some time, said the “business enterprise” was not one of her making and added there was no “coercion” involved.

William Carter, for Michelle Bailey, said she played a lesser role, had admitted her guilt at the earliest opportunity available to her and was responsible for her six-year-old daughter.

Sentencing Marie Bailey to eight months imprisonment and Michelle Bailey to five months, suspended for two years, Judge Stephen Holt said it was a “very substantial business”.

He added that this sort of criminal activity “can result in real hardship” and preys on the “very vulnerable” members of society.

Marie was told she must serve half her sentence, before serving the other half on licence, while Michelle was also ordered to undertake 12 months supervision as well as a women’s emotional well being specified activity programme.

Marie, who the court heard was said to be at the “heart” of the operation, was also made the subject of a Proceeds of Crime (POCA) application and must pay £75, 000 in three months or face two years in prison in default.

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