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Woman conned model train enthusiasts out of cash in Facebook fraud

Kelly Madden was sentenced at Peterhead Sheriff Court.

A woman who duped model train collectors out of more than £300 has been ordered to pay them back after her Facebook con went off the rails.

Kelly Madden posted model trains for sale on a Facebook buy-and-sell page and accepted two payments totalling £239 from a delighted enthusiast before failing to send him the goods.

She also conned another model collector out of £60 using the same method, Peterhead Sheriff Court heard.

Her first victim exchanged messages with Hadden for more than a fortnight in January and February last year before they agreed prices for the collectable items.

Model engines were in demand

Fiscal depute Ruaridh McAllister said: “He was on a Facebook page which was advertising model trains for sale.

“He is a model train enthusiast and had an interest in the items so contacted the seller, the accused, over Facebook.

“A price was agreed and he sent through the cash via Paypal but in the days that followed the train set he had ordered never arrived.

“He messaged for an update and a further exchange of messages took place in which Ms Madden asked him if he wanted to buy a second train set. He agreed and payment was made. Nothing was received.”

The fiscal said in the days that followed Madden ignored multiple messages before trying to cover her tracks and claiming she was on holiday.

The 40-year-old’s fraudulent Facebook deals came to the end of the line when police were contacted.

The first train enthusiast wasn’t her only victim. Around the same time, Madden also conned another out of £60 using the same social media platform.

Previously served time in prison

In an identical con, she accepted the money via Paypal then failed to send the goods.

Hadden’s defence agent Iain Jane said she “accepted full responsibility for the behaviour and provided an explanation to social workers as to what her circumstances were at the time and why she engaged in this behaviour”.

He added she had previously served time in prison and had also been working hard to sort out problems with medication and drugs.

He told Sheriff Christine McRossan that she had, however, failed to refund the money taken.

Madden admitted two charges of fraud as well as a further charge of theft, whereby she used a credit card that did not belong to her to buy goods worth £161 from her hometown’s Co-op store in March 2019.

Madden, of Bruan Court, Fraserburgh, was ordered to pay £290 to her first victim and £60 to her second as well as comply with a six-month supervision order.

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