Tayside and Central Scotland

Bogus workmen who targeted OAPs sentenced

Dundee Sheriff Court
Image caption Dundee Sheriff Court was told one of the men was serving a jail term for an identical offence

Two bogus tradesmen tried to defraud money from two women aged 84 and 94 by claiming their homes were infested with insects, a court heard.

Paul McDonagh and William McPhee admitted targeting the "vulnerable" women at their homes on the outskirts of Dundee.

McPhee, who is currently serving a jail term for a similar offence, was sentenced to eight months in prison.

McDonagh was ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

Depute fiscal Isma Mukhtar told Dundee Sheriff Court that the 94-year-old victim had been asked for £1,000 and the younger woman was asked for £500.

Ms Mukhtar said the men gained access to the homes by claiming they were carrying out free work under a warranty for a previous job.

The pair then falsely claimed that the attic spaces were infested by woodworm or rot.

Both women told the men to leave after becoming suspicious.

'Unpleasant offence'

Miss Mukhtar said: "Police were contacted and were advised by the complainer that she had seen the males in a van in the street and pointed the van out to officers.

"They were still in the area and they were detained."

McPhee, 33, and McDonagh, 28, both from Kelty in Fife, each admitted two charges of attempted fraud committed on 10 February.

Defence solicitor Donna Maitland said: "This was an unpleasant offence, an unsavoury incident, for the ladies concerned.

"Mr McPhee is presently serving a sentence for an analagous offence.

"Mr McDonagh got involved in this because he needed to pay for his mother-in-law's funeral.

"That's not an excuse but it is an explanation."

Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC said: "These are serious offences of attempting to obtain money from elderly, vulnerable people who you had targeted."

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites