Friends and family of a bogus workman who conned Fife pensioners out of thousands of pounds have “disowned him.”
William Stewart was sentenced to two years behind bars after admitting to defrauding four Fife pensioners out of their money, having pretended to be a landscape gardener and a roofer.
26-year-old Stewart, of Queen Street, Freuchie, targeted four elderly individuals aged between 76 and 89 last autumn, swindling them out of their cash in exchange for work he had no intention of completing.
Four ‘despicable’ crimes
Between September 7 and 10, Stewart told a 79-year-old man from Achray Park in Glenrothes he was a landscape gardener and conned the pensioner out of £800.
He told the same lie to an 89-year-old man from Cumbrae Terrace, Kirkcaldy over October 1 and 2.
This man – Stewart’s oldest victim – was left £450 out of pocket for work which would never be done.
Just days later, Stewart’s ruthless offending continued when he posed as a roofer between October 5 and 8, taking £1,120 from an 84-year-old woman who stayed in Kirkcaldy’s Katrine Crescent.
His final victim, a fellow Freuchie villager, was conned out of £600.
The woman, who lived in Church Place, was 76 years old when Stewart fraudulently claimed he was a roofer and would carry out work at her home.
Family stopped speaking to accused
Stewart, who will become a father for the first time later this year, last month admitted four charges of fraud.
He appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court by video link and was told by Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist there was no suitable punishment other than prison.
His defence solicitor told the court, while his wife was continuing to stand by Stewart, her position wasn’t shared by all of his friends and family.
She said: “This has resulted in people disowning him in his family and friends have stopped speaking to him.”
He received no sympathy from Sheriff Gilchrist either.
It was clearly meant. You knew they were vulnerable, elderly people.”
He said: “The reason people close to you have stopped speaking to you is because this is despicable.
“The victims were 79, 89, 84 and 76.
“That is clearly not a coincidence. It was clearly meant. You knew they were vulnerable, elderly people.”
Stewart’s prison sentence was backdated to April 20, when he was remanded.