A bogus workman has admitted conning several people – including a 94-year-old woman – out of thousands of pounds across Fife over a four-month period.
Solicitors acting for John Paterson, 29, of Viewforth Place, Kinghorn, pled guilty on their client’s behalf to three counts of fraud on indictment when the case called at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Tuesday morning.
Paterson admitted pretending to Phyllis Carter, 94, that he had carried out building or maintenance work on her roof at an address in Park Road West, Rosyth, on various occasions between July 18, 2019, and July 25, 2019; induced her to provide him with a cheque for £1,000 and tried to persuade her to pay him further sums of money.
In reality, no work had been carried out, and Ms Carter had not agreed for the work to be done.
Paterson similarly admitted conning another woman out of £360 on July 24, 2019, at an address in Durham Crescent, Lower Largo, by pretending to have carried out building work on behalf of Fife Council – when in actual fact that was not the case.
And Paterson also pled guilty to a further fraud charge relating to incidents between October 1, 2019, and November 21, 2019, at an address in Taylor Street, Methil, and elsewhere.
That involved Paterson telling three people he had been a competent tradesman and that work to the value of £2,150 was needed on one of the trio’s properties.
He managed to obtain £1,200 from one of the people involved and repeatedly demanded further payment from the three residents, despite knowing he had grossly exaggerated the value of the work, and that the work had been done to a “grossly negligent and unworkmanlike standard”.
Defence solicitor Kerr Sneddon tendered the guilty pleas before Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist QC at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, explaining that his client had been admitted to the town’s Victoria Hospital the day before with complications arising from diabetes.
Sheriff Gilchrist QC agreed to continue the case for one week so Paterson could make a personal appearance, when he will hear more details about the circumstances behind the fraud.
Three other men who appeared on indictment all tendered not guilty pleas to various fraud allegations, and those pleas were accepted by the Crown.