Sunderland tenant stole landlady’s identity to spent £2,000 on catalogues

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A tenant stole the identity of her landlady to take out secret catalogue accounts and lavished the money on herself.

Louise McSween, 32, spent £1,500 on clothing and £500 on household goods after lying about her identity on three occasions, Sunderland magistrates heard.

The situation changed because the landlady came back early. This incident has come to light because she was unable to pay it back before it was discovered.

Defence solicitor Joanne Gatens

The court heard excerpts from a probation report, which detailed how McSween is unable to obtain credit herself due to a bad rating.

She had intended to pay the money back, but when the landlady returned early from a spell abroad, McSween found herself in financial difficulty and the fraud was discovered.

As a result, the father of her five-year-old son, who was unaware of the deceit, walked out on her, the court heard.

In total, customer service worker McSween spent £,1,368 on clothing from Very and £161.85 from JD Williams, and bought £470.80 of household goods from another catalogue.

McSween, of Wilmore Street, Millfield, admitted three counts of fraud by false representation, committed in April and May 2014.

Joanne Gatens, defending, said McSween had worked for Northerm Rock and was made redundant during the financial crash, losing her home as a result.

“She had an agreement that her landlady would move out of the country for two years,” Mrs Gatens said.

“Ms McSweeney opened these accounts, intending to pay them back before she returned.

“The situation changed because the landlady came back early. This incident has come to light because she was unable to pay it back before it was discovered.”

McSween was sentenced to an 18-month conditional discharge. She was told to pay £2,000.65 in compensation to the catalogue companies and £15 victim surcharge.