A struggling businessman has been ordered to pay back more than £30,000 to companies he stole from within the next 28 days.
Ronald Young, 55, concocted a scheme whereby he hired tonnes of heavy anchor chains and then sold them off to obtain the scrap value.
Young – who is listed on Companies House as a director for Palmyra Marine Ltd, Aberdeen – carried out the scheme between May 28 to September 21, 2015.
The offences happened at his business on Waterloo Quay, McIntosh Plant Hire, at Echt, near Westhill and metal processing company John Lawrie Group on Greenbank Bank, Aberdeen.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that Young, of Riverside Drive, Stonehaven, accepted contracts with other companies for high quantities of anchor chain, which he then sold to help save his own struggling business from financial ruin.
Defence agent Christopher Maitland said his client, a first offender, had stolen the anchor chain in an attempt to save his business.
He said he carried out the offence “following difficulties surrounding his own business he was trying to rescue.”
Sheriff Andrew Miller ordered Young to pay compensation to the businesses he stole from – to the tune of £30,525 in 28 days.
The amount is equivalent to the scrap value of the anchor chains illegally obtained.
In addition, Young was given 120 hours of unpaid work to complete within the next nine months.
Describing it as a “serious” crime, Sheriff Miller said: “You contracted with companies for high quantities of chain which you sold and then applied for the scraps value for the purposes of your own business.
“This was a serious offence of dishonesty.
“The amount of unpaid work given would have been more if arrangements for reimbursement had not already been made.
“I had to consider if custody would be appropriate for this offence– if you don’t comply with the requirements you will be reported back to the court for further consideration.”
We have been asked by McIntosh Plant Hire to note that their business address was included in the charge against Young because he rented storage facilities from them on a normal commercial basis and that they have no other connection to the case.