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'I do not want your child to be born in prison'.

A HEAVILY pregnant woman was spared prison yesterday despite tricking a building society into giving her a mortgage worth nearly pounds 100,000.

Katherine Jackson pretended to be a high-flying company secretary earning pounds 35,000 a year to secure the mortgage.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard the 31-year-old had earned just pounds 1,657 in 2005. The mother of two avoided jail after Recorder William Lowe QC took pity on her.

He told Jackson: "What you did was a serious crime.

"If you appeared here in different circumstances, you would go immediately to prison, but I do not want to see your third child born in prison."

He suspended the 12-month prison sentence he was going to impose for two years and ordered her to stay at her home in Windsor Terrace, Whitley Bay.

The court heard Jackson had received pounds 92,736 from the Abbey Nation to buy a house in Redgrave Close in Gateshead.

The mortgage was granted after Jackson tricked advisers by telling them she earned pounds 35,000 as a company secretary and wanted the house as a family home.

Jackson, who has no previous convictions, even produced a letter from her employer, Al Forno restaurant in Jesmond Road, Newcastle, confirming her salary.

She bought the house on April 8, 2004, but Robert Adams, prosecuting, said "all these representations turned out to be false".

A police investigation revealed the restaurant was in the process of going into liquidation at the time it was said to be paying her, while inquiries showed she lived on an annual salary of pounds 12,000 to pounds 14,000.

However, in 2005 she made just pounds 1,657.

Mr Adams said: "It was clear she was not living at the address she had bought.

"The fraud was on the basis her income was not pounds 35,000, which she had grossly exaggerated, she was not a company secretary and the property was provided for an investment either for herself or someone else."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 12, 2007
Words:333
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