THE former brother-in-law of convicted fraudster Kirsty Cox said he feared for his wife and children’s safety in the aftermath of the £450,000 iPad scam that devastated hundreds of North-East families.
Saul Kennedy, whose wife’s twin brother used to be married to Cox, became a target for the widespread anger surrounding the County Durham business woman’s dodgy dealings.
When news of the scam broke in December 2012, he was forced to move his family out of their Newton Aycliffe home after angry victims began showing up at the house demanding refunds.
The father-of-two also received intimidating phone calls and text messages, including one which said he had half-an-hour to get his family out of the house before it would be set on fire.
“I was at work at the time on a night shift,” said Mr Kennedy, a production technician at Lucite International.
“I knew my wife and kids were safe at my mum and dad’s but I felt awful. I didn’t know who it was and this made me feel helpless. I was determined to protect my family.”
Today (Friday, December 3), Cox, of Wellbury Grove in Newton Aycliffe, was sentenced to two years in prison for the scam, which saw individual victims lose between £400 and £232,000 between August and December 2012.
The 37-year-old had claimed she could get cut-price iPads and took orders for thousands but failed to deliver them in the run up to Christmas.
Mr Kennedy and his wife, Karen, were among a number of people Cox recruited to take orders and collect payments in advance from their friends and work colleagues.
The couple were devastated when they discovered Cox’s wrong-doing and have since scraped together all their savings and borrowed money from friends and family to pay their work colleagues back.
“We can’t afford to pay everyone though and we have lost close friends because of that,” said Mr Kennedy.
“Kirsty had worked in telecommunications for years. She was the managing director of her own company. We had no reason not to trust her. It came as a massive shock.”
Mr Kennedy continued: “I believe she did all this for the kudos. That was the kind of person she was. She loved to be seen as a big business woman.
“She has shown absolutely no remorse to me, Karen or the children, which is even more hurtful. I worry this will never go away.”