Ospringe account manager Steven Judd spared jail after forging wife's signature to pay off credit cards
Steven Judd secured a
£25,000 loan to pay credit card debts
by Julia Roberts
An account manager who forged his wife's signature to
commit mortgage fraud has avoided being sent to prison.
Steven Judd increased his mortgage by obtaining a £25,000 loan
in 2006 to pay credit card debts. But his wife Tracey only
discovered his deception when she started divorce proceedings last
Maidstone Crown Court heard Mrs Judd also learned she was
jointly liable for the loan, which was still outstanding.
She was advised by the bank to contact the police.
Judd told her he had tricked her by getting her to sign an
The father-of-four admitted obtaining a money transfer by
deception. Sentencing had been adjourned after Judge Philip
Statman was told Mrs Judd had been informed in writing she
would not be financially disadvantaged when their former marital
home is sold.
But when she indicated from the public gallery she had not
received such a letter, the judge asked for written proof of his
promise be put before him.
Evidence of an "email trail" and other
documents were handed to the court and Judge Statman imposed a
16-week jail term, suspended for two years.
He said he accepted the 40-year-old had "come clean" and shown
But he added Judd, of Ospringe Street, Ospringe, Faversham,
had not only deceived his now ex-wife but had left her in fear of
financial problems herself.
"You acted at a time, I accept, when you were in debt. You had
spent too much money on credit cards and could not repay the
"But you lied and deceived your wife. You did not put her fully
in the picture as to the extent of your financial difficulties.
"The impact upon you has been considerable and the impact upon
your ex-wife has been considerable. She has had to live with your
dishonesty and have over her head the fear that at the end of the
marriage she would be substantially in a far less favourable
position than she would have been."
Judd was also ordered to carry out 200 hours' unpaid work, pay
£200 court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
The court heard the couple were together for 18 years and
married for 14.
Mrs Judd moved into her husband's home in Cyprus Road,
Faversham, and was placed on the mortgage in 1988.
Prosecutor Keith Yardy said Judd, who works for vehicle tracking
company Trafficmaster, paid the mortgage while his wife paid other
Mrs Judd became concerned because she did not see any mortgage
statements. Judd told her not to call the bank and he would deal
"She was not suspicious at that stage," said Mr Yardy. "Things
came to a head in 2012 when she began divorce proceedings."
It was then that she discovered the £25,000 was outstanding,
having been taken out in July 2006.
Steven Judd was sentenced
at Maidstone Crown Court
When interviewed by police, Judd admitted he ran into trouble
with credit cards and could not face telling his wife. He copied
her signature for the mortgage forms.
The prosecutor said there was no application for compensation
because the amount would be realised when the house sale was
Leon Kazakos, defending, said Judd had not previously put a foot
wrong in life and had made full admissions to the offence.
Because of the frailty of the marriage, he had not be able to
bring himself to tell his wife he was in debt. He was earning
£27,500 a year with a top-up bonus.
He relied on the bonus but it was not always forthcoming and he
built up debt. The money was simply spent on providing for their
"He has already agreed that his share of the property will be
reduced so that she is not financially disadvantaged," said Mr
Kazakos. "That is the action of a properly remorseful man."
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