A WOMAN has described feeling disgusted and betrayed after being scammed by her friend of 13 years.
Yvonne Donkin thought there had been a mistake when she was told she owed a catalogue company hundreds of pounds.
But as the story unravelled, she found that her tenant and friend, Lynsey Rogerson, had ran up debts of nearly £800 in Yvonne’s name.
At South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court last week, Rogerson, now of Dinningside, Belford, was fined after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation.
After the case, Yvonne said: “It is just disgusting. You just don’t do that to people you know, or anyone.
“She lived across the road from us when I was in Windsor Gardens in Alnwick with my ex.
“When she was looking for somewhere to rent, my house became empty and I let her take it no problem. I didn’t do credit checks, I didn’t take a bond, I just trusted her and she did this.”
The court heard that while Rogerson was renting from Yvonne, she set up an account with Littlewoods in her landlord’s name in October 2010.
From then until December that year, the 36-year-old ordered various items, including children’s toys, which were delivered to the address.
But the company didn’t receive a payment and after looking into the account, they contacted Yvonne, who knew nothing about it.
Police were then involved and a search of Rogerson’s house found the majority of the property – some of which was soiled or damaged.
Defending, Kyle Patterson said it was an ‘unsophisticated’ offence and Rogerson had used her own bank details.
He added: “It was doomed to fail.”
Speaking to the Gazette after the case, Yvonne, who now lives at Alnwick Moor, said she feels used and suspicious of others now.
“I feel like such a mug,” she said. “I’ve been used after putting my trust in somebody.
“She doesn’t deserve anything. She has blatantly lied to me, and probably has throughout our whole friendship. I just feel so frustrated that she could do this to me.
“It makes you very suspicious about your other friends and that isn’t good. How could somebody do that? I wouldn’t dream of doing something like that to somebody I don’t know let alone someone I do.”
Yvonne said she spoke to Rogerson about the debt when she was first contacted by Littlewoods.
“She denied any knowledge of it,” Yvonne said.
“If she had said she had been strapped for cash and stuck for Christmas and that she would pay the account off, I would have forgiven her. But she has never said sorry.”
The court heard that Rogerson was convicted of fraudulently obtaining insurance in December last year.
She was fined £185 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15. No compensation order was made as Littlewoods had sold the debt to another company which may pursue civil action.