A bogus gardener managed to swindle almost £700 from three unsuspecting pensioners.
Ewan McGregor (30) used his brother’s gardening business as a means to steal cash from customers while never carrying out the work he promised to do.
Appearing from custody at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, McGregor admitted defrauding 67-year-old Suzanne Cumming, Fullerton Drive, Polmont, out of £300 on April 20 while acting with another, as well as conning Catherine Cameron (77), Bowhouse Road, Grangemouth, out of £150 on April 29.
McGregor also tricked Andrew Miller (85), Bowhouse Road, Grangemouth, into parting with £230 on May 6 while acting with another.
On the first occasion, McGregor left Ms Cumming’s home with an agreed £300 deposit but never went back to the home and continually ignored his victim’s calls.
Procurator fiscal depute Claire Rowan said: “She sent numerous messages and received no answer.
“Both the accused and his brother left the address but didn’t leave any receipt for the money.”
As well as stealing another three-figure sum from Ms Cameron, McGregor also ripped up a plant laid in memory of her mother which he was told to leave untouched.
Procurator fiscal depute Rowan continued: “She had felt embarrassed and as such didn’t report him.
“It wasn’t until police were carrying out door-to-door inquiries that this came to light.”
McGregor’s final act of deceit saw him again fail to return calls and texts from Mr Miller, who had paid £200 up front for materials but had grown suspicious when the gardener failed to return after just one visit.
His defence solicitor told Sheriff Derek Livingston that McGregor accepted his conduct was “unacceptable”.
McGregor, 111 Portal Road, Grangemouth, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, reduced from 12 months because of his guilty plea.
The sentence was backdated to June 13.