A workman who conned a pensioner out of nearly £6,000 has been spared jail.
Alan Shaw repeatedly turned up at Elma Thomson’s home and told her he had carried out roofing work which she needed to pay him for.
Ms Thomson, who lives in a council house in Montrose, never requested any work but paid Shaw on several occasions.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard yesterday that Shaw was generally quite friendly to the 89-year-old, but on one occasion threatened to remove the tiles from the roof if she did not pay up.
The fraudster obtained £3,900 in cash and a cheque for £2,000, which he paid into the TSB in Montrose – telling the cashier he had received the cheque from his grandmother.
But the cashier knew Ms Thomson had no living relatives, and raised the alarm.
Aberdeenshire Council – which maintains the property – began investigating, and discovered no work had been carried out.
Yesterday, 32-year-old Shaw appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing after previously admitted defrauding Ms Thomson between July 2016 and January 2017.
His defence lawyer Norman Fraser said Shaw had been working for a company who he initially believed had carried out the work, but then later realised he was part of a scam.
He added that his client was in full time employment where he was “well thought of” and he would be willing to pay compensation at a rate of £300 per month if he was spared jail.
Sheriff Sukwinder Gill considered fixing a proof of mitigation to look into the claims made by Shaw, but decided not to put his victim through the ordeal.
Imposing a sentence she said: “This is an extremely serious offence, you picked on the most vulnerable member of the community, an 88-year-old woman.
“That is shameful behaviour and a despicable thing to do to someone of that age.”
She made Shaw, of Insch Terrace in Montrose, subject to supervision for two years, ordered him to carry out 270 hours of unpaid work and to repay £3,900 in compensation.
Last night, an Aberdeenshire Council spokesman urged residents not to give work, or money, to coldcallers.