Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Revealed: The Dodgy Divorces; THIEVING ADVISER LET COUPLES THINK THEIR MARRIAGES WERE OVER

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Revealed: The Dodgy Divorces; THIEVING ADVISER LET COUPLES THINK THEIR MARRIAGES WERE OVER

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB PATTINSON

THEY thought they were free to move on with their lives and build again.

But couples who put their faith in legal advisor Lillian Rayne were shattered to discover the divorces she had arranged were not worth the paper they were printed on.

Some remained married for years and started new families after they were told their divorces had come through.

Devious Rayne had forged the divorce documents tricking her vulnerable victims then pocketed the cash handed to her for court costs. Now the conwoman is facing jail after admitting a string of charges.

Her scam started to unravel after a simple spelling mistake was discovered.

One of Rayne's victims Kristy Singleton, of Morpeth, Northumberland, tried to change an error on her divorce papers but was horrified to be told the authorities had no recorded of her marriage ending.

She was still married to Guy, the man she believed was her ex.

Police were called in and another couple John and Pamela Bryson, of Winlaton, Gateshead, then found out they were also still married.

Rayne is today banned from giving anyone legal advice by bail conditions imposed on her by a Crown Court judge.

The 52-year-old, of Axwell Terrace, Swalwell, Gateshead, is waiting to learn her fate after pleading guilty to eight counts of fraud and forgery. The plea was entered just minutes before a jury was due to be called in for a trial at Carlisle Crown Court, where the case was being heard because of her ties to the courts on Tyneside.

Until Rayne admitted her guilt she had maintained the dodgy divorces were the fault of court clerks.

Judge Peter Hughes warned Rayne: "I make this clear to you. The offences to which you have now pleaded guilty are serious offences.

"There is the involvement of fraud of members of the public and also the manipulation of the court, to mislead. …

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