Fife bogus workman who preyed on the elderly is jailed
A Fife bogus workman who was blasted by a sheriff for ‘preying on the elderly’ has been jailed for 10 months.
Matthew Morrison, of Laxford Road, Glenrothes appeared before Sheriff James Williamson at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.
Morrison, 37, admitted that on May 6, 2021 at an address in Innes Road, Glenrothes he pretended to a 96-year-old woman that he would clean her gutters of her house at a rate of £20 but the truth was he had no intention of carrying out the work and so induced the woman to pay him, obtaining £20 by fraud.
He further admitted on May 24, 2021 at an address in Willow Crescent, Glenrothes he stole a quantity of money and a purse belonging to an 88-year-old woman, while he was on bail.
Morrison also admitted breaching his bail conditions by holding himself out as a gutter cleaner on various occasions between May 6 and May 24, 2001 at Innes Road and Willow Crescent when he was granted bail on the condition that he did not hold himself out or trade as a gutter cleaner.
The Procurator Fiscal Depute told the court: “Between 1.30 and 1.50pm on the day of the offence the accused attended at the door of the complainer and offered to clean her gutter for £20.
"She was unsure but gave him £20 anyway. He said he need to go to his van parked around the corner to get his tools but he left and did not do any work. He did not return.”
In relation to the offence at Willow Crescent in Glenrothes, the Procurator Fiscal Depute said: “On the day of the offence the complainer heard a knock at her door. The accused told her he had been in the area to clean a neighbour’s gutter and said he needed to get change from a £50 note that the neighbour had given him.
"The complainer went to get her purse and he went into her kitchen and helped himself to a glass of water.
"He then took £50 from the complain her and just left. She later realised that £10 was missing from her black leather purse and police were contacted.”
Morrison’s defence lawyer said his client accepts full responsibility for the offences.
He said Morrison had a history of difficulties with alcohol and had become dependent on heroin at the age of 30. He said his client had undergone a detox while in custody and had been feeling better.
He said: “He would comply with supervision if given that opportunity and he pleaded guilty at the earliest stage.”
However, Sheriff Williamson told the accused: “You were released on bail on the condition that you did not pose as a man cleaning gutters.
"But you targeted a 96-year-old and an 88-year-old. The fact of the matter is that you preyed on the elderly so in my view there can only be a custodial sentence.”
Sheriff Williamson sentenced him to a total of 10 months in custody, backdated to June 7.