Serial fraudster jailed

10 Jan 2017 09:00 AM

Raymond McDonald (1) [View Full Size]

A County Durham fraudster has been jailed.

Raymond McDonald, who is 43 and from Thornley in County Durham, has been convicted of fraud by false representation at Teeside Crown Court on December 15th.

He initially denied the offence and after a trial he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

McDonald defrauded a number of people out of hundreds of thousands of pounds posing as a high flying property developer.

His web of lies and criminal actions led to victims losing their possessions and their homes, he used the money to pay for holidays, gambling trips and to fund his lavish lifestyle.

He left victims in the Durham, Cleveland, Newcastle and Northumberland areas.

In April 2016 Northumbria Police officers received a report of fraud from a victim in Newcastle which led them to investigate McDonald and he was arrested. In November 2016 he was charged with fraud.

In sentencing McDonald the judge for the case said: "McDonald is a gutless man, without shame, as his refusal to appear before me demonstrates.He is a serial fraudster who lives in a different world to the rest of us when it comes to honesty and the impact our actions have on others.These offences were predatory and premeditated against women who were vulnerable due to recent divorce or loss of their partner.Each suffered tremendously, and I am satisfied Mr McDonald's behaviour has genuinely ruined lives."

Detective Constable David Laybourne said: " McDonald targeted vulnerable women who had allowed themselves to trust him in the belief they would be sharing a future together. Instead, he has stolen everything he could from them, leaving a trail of financial and emotional devastation in his wake. This sentence demonstrates the Court’s willingness to punish those who target vulnerable people and the determination of Northumbria to co-operate with other forces to bring them to justice."

View the full news release