A bogus workman who fleeced unsuspecting clients in Tayside out of £8,500 has been sent to prison for 25 months.
Ian Wilson used a fake name to dupe five Scottish victims into parting with thousands of pounds between September 2015 and January 2016.
The 60-year-old conned victims around the east coast of Scotland of more than £11,000 before fleeing to England when his scam began to come to light. He claimed underworld figures had forced the move.
He pled guilty at Dundee Sheriff Court to five charges of fraud amounting to £11,500, involving victims in Broughty Ferry, Monifieth and Edinburgh.
Wilson had failed to turn up for several court appearances to be sentenced and only arrived on Wednesday after a court-appointed GP dismissed his claims that he was too unwell to travel.
The court heard how Wilson, now of Poulton-le-Fylde, had introduced himself as Ian Howard to potential victims in pubs around Broughty Ferry.
He offered one victim a “good deal” to replace his kitchen and bathroom and took a £2,600 cash deposit for the work on the property at Leemont Drive.
The victim’s son also asked Wilson to do work on his home in Cross Street and handed over £2,200 for a new shower pod.
However, the work was not completed and the shower pod never arrived.
Wilson also took £1,000 from an 81-year-old for work on her bathroom at Redcastle Crescent but failed to carry out the renovations.
Other victims included a resident of Monifieth, defrauded of £2,700, and another in Edinburgh, who lost £3,000.
Solicitor Keith Tuck, defending, said Wilson was a skilled worker who had been praised by one of his victims for work he had carried out in the past.
He said that Wilson had been fearful of gangland figures he had become involved with and had been forced to move around the country.
Mr Tuck said Wilson had made efforts to repay the stolen cash to his victims and claimed to have handed back more than £9,000.
He said: “He has convictions which suggest it is not the first time he has been involved in these sorts of matters.”
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael said: “Because of your previous convictions and the nature of the offences there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.”