A man who took out a high interest pay day loan had his repayment money snatched from him by a drug addict as he was about to pay the cashier.
Colin Hallett, 64, had gone into The Money Shop in Military Road, Chatham, to pay the first instalment of £160 on his £200 loan, but Adrian Edwards snatched it from his hand at the counter.
The thief ran off and was not arrested for several hours but by then he had spent much of the £160 on drugs and beer. Police found £45 on him.
Colin Hallett had his money snatched by a drug addict as he went to pay off his loan
Edwards, of Dale Street, Chatham, was later charged with theft and admitted the offence when he appeared before magistrates in Medway.
However, Mr Hallett, from Brompton, had to pay the money back to the national lender despite being out of pocket and was given an extra 10 days to pay the full amount, of £255.98 (£200 loan plus £55.98 interest) or he would incur high-level interest rates.
Mr Hallett said: “They gave me a 10-day grace period to pay the loan back.
“Luckily I had money in my bank account during that time, so I paid off £200 a few days later and then the outstanding £55.98 but if I had gone over that 10-day period I would have incurred a further £29 just in interest charges.
The Money Shop insisted on payment after the cash was stolen
“I had to go without that week, cut back and not buy the things I usually do.
“I would have thought The Money Shop would have been a bit more sympathetic.
“It was hard that week trying to pay it back when I was already out of pocket.
“It all happened in their shop right in front of the cashier and they were the ones who called the police. They gave pictures of the guy who did it to the police.
“At the time I just didn’t know how I was going to pay the money back.
“I would have thought they could have done a bit more for me – perhaps just stopped the interest thing altogether. I really did have to go without during those 10 days, so I could pay it.”
Edwards admitted the theft this week at Medway Magistrates’ Court.
He was given an 18-month community order which will involve him being supervised by probation for that period.
He also has to complete a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement and was ordered to pay £200 in compensation to Mr Hallett.
However, Edwards already owes £1,120 in fines and compensation to the court and is having this debt deducted at £10 per fortnight from his benefits.
“I would have thought they could have done a bit more for me – perhaps just stopped the interest thing altogether" - Colin Hallett
It is unclear how long it will take for Mr Hallett to be paid his compensation instalments.
Edwards was also ordered to pay £85 court costs.
After Edwards was sentenced, Mr Hallett said: “I think he’s scum, I’ve never been a victim of crime before and I feel rotten this has happened to me.
“It would have been better if I was able to have the lump sum compensation. Maybe I will get some before Christmas, if I’m lucky.”
After we contacted The Money Shop, bosses decided as a gesture of goodwill they would refund Mr Hallett’s loan.
A spokesman added: “We are writing to him to waive the loan amount and will return his money.”