A Redditch man who ran an illegal loan shark business, charging interest rates of up to 15,000 per cent APR, was yesterday jailed for two years.
Kim Cornfield had been running an illegal money lending business with his wife Elizabeth from their home, when he was caught by a Birmingham-based loan shark team.
At Worcester Crown Court, Mr Cornfield admitted to eight charges of blackmail and was sentenced to two years for each crime.
He was also sentenced to a further six months in custody after pleading guilty to one charge of illegal money lending. All the charges are to run concurrently.
His wife was sentenced to a 12 month community rehabilitation order.
The court heard how the couple regularly used intimidation to enforce the collection of payments for the duration of their business between March 31, 2003 and April 13, 2005.
Mr Cornfield would threaten his clients with violence and refused to tell them how much money they owed.
He intimidated single mothers and people receiving disability benefits who were unable to keep up with the interest payments.
In one case he attacked a woman who was eight months pregnant by grabbing her around the throat.
Other incidents included leaving a telephone message which told a client he would "burn their house down".