Fife bogus workman jailed after conning four pensioners out of hundreds of pounds
A Fife bogus workman who conned four pensioners out of hundreds of pounds has been jailed for two years.
William Stewart, of Queen Street, Freuchie, appeared from prison via video link before Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.
Stewart, 26, admitted that between September 7 and September 10, 2020 at an address in Achray Park, Glenrothes he pretended to a 75-year-old woman that he was a landscape gardener and that he would carry out gardening work which he failed to complete, thus inducing his victim to pay for work he had no intention of carrying out, obtaining £800 by fraud.
He further admitted between October 1 and October 2, 2020 at an address in Cumbrae Terrace, Kirkcaldy he pretended to an 89-year-old man he would carry out gardening work which he had no intention of carrying out, obtaining £450 by fraud.
He admitted between October 5 and October 8, 2020 at an address in Katrine Crescent, Kirkcaldy, he pretended to an 84-year-old woman he would carry out roofing work which he failed to complete and induced her to pay him for work he had no intention of carrying out, obtaining £1120 by fraud.
He further admitted between November 23, 2020 and November 26, 2020 an an address in Freuchie, he pretended to a 76-year-old woman that he would carry out roofing work, which he failed to complete and induced her to pay for work he had no intention of carrying out, obtaining £600 by fraud.
Stewart’s defence lawyer told the court: “He is under no illusions that he is looking at a period of custody as punishment for these offences. He has taken responsibility for the offences he has pleaded guilty to. He contacted me in January saying he wanted to plead guilty to these charges, he has not tried to bury his head in the sand.”
She said friends had disowned him after learning of the offences: “Given the backlash from this I can’t see him returning to this type of lifestyle. His parents have forgiven him and he has no intention of doing anything like this again as he has too much at stake.”
Sheriff Gilchrist sentenced Stewart to two years in prison: “You deliberately targeted vulnerable people and you targeted them deliberately for financial gain. There is no alternative to custody.”