CON MAN IS CAUGHT OU T AF­TER GIV­ING HIS REAL NAME Se­rial bo­gus worker who tried to rip off dis­abled cou­ple ar­rested af­ter blun­der

Perthshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Court re­porter

Lily Dou­glas left for Amer­ica at the week­end A bungling bo­gus work­man who tried to con two dis­abled peo­ple out of cash was tracked down af­ter giv­ing them a false com­pany name— but his cor­rect per­sonal de­tails.

The cou­ple, and their son, were sus­pi­cious when 25-year-old James Hume turned up at their door in the Letham area of Perth and of­fered to carry out some gar­den­ing work. He was un­able to pro­vide a busi­ness card but gave his name and said his com­pany was One So­lu­tion.

De­tec­tive work on the in­ter­net failed to dis­close any in­for­ma­tion on the com­pany, but news­pa­per re­ports re­vealed he had been con­victed of bo­gus work­man-type of­fences, Perth Sher­iff Court was told.

De­pute fis­cal Bill Ker­mode said one of the in­tended vic­tims suf­fers from par­tial paral­y­sis down her left side while her hus­band has cere­bral palsy and can’t talk.

Hume was later ap­pre­hended af­ter he called again at the cou­ple’s home and parked his tran­sit van out­side.

He claimed he had bought ma­te­ri­als in con­nec­tion with the gar­den­ing work and needed to be paid for them.

But po­lice, who were on rou­tine pa­trol, were pass­ing the house and

spot­ted him at the front door.

Of­fi­cers had ear­lier been alerted by the cou­ple af­ter the ac­cused’s ini­tial visit to their home.

Hume, along with two oth­ers who were in the van out­side, were al­lowed to leave while in­quiries were made with Trad­ing Stan­dards.

The ac­cused was later traced in the Letham area of the city and was ar­rested.

Hume, of Nimmo Av­enue, was fined £600 af­ter he ad­mit­ted con­tra­ven­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act leg­is­la­tion by fail­ing to pro­vide a proper trad­ing name and ad­dress for his com­pany be­tween Au­gust 22 and 25, 2016.

Mr Ker­mode said that dur­ing the ac­cused’s first visit, he had re­fused to pro­vide a mo­bile num­ber and had quoted three dif­fer­ent prices for the work.

When he left, no for­mal agree­ment had been made for any work to be done and no pa­per­work or iden­ti­fi­ca­tion had been handed over.

Solic­i­tor Cliff Cul­ley told the court that the ac­cused is at present serv­ing a jail term in Bar­lin­nie. He asked for no time to pay and the al­ter­na­tive of 28 days be­hind bars, ef­fec­tive from April 11, was im­posed.

Sher­iff Gil­lian Wade, who im­posed the penalty, noted that the of­fence to which Hume had pled guilty didn’t carry a prison sen­tence and could only be dealt with by way of a fine.

In De­cem­ber, 2015, Hume was jailed for 10 months at Perth Sher­iff Court af­ter he preyed on two vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple - one a stroke vic­tim and the other a 75-year-old pen­sioner - in the run-up to Christ­mas in a des­per­ate bid to get cash to feed his es­ca­lat­ing drug habit.

Just 11 days later, hard-hearted Hume then tar­geted the OAP and claimed he was a plum­ber em­ployed by Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil as a sub-con­trac­tor.

He fab­ri­cated a story that he was there to rem­edy work that hadn’t been com­pleted when the 75-year-old’s kitchen had been re­fur­bished.

The same day, the ac­cused called on a third po­ten­tial vic­tim and his wife - and tried to con them out of £200. He claimed that their next- door neigh­bour, a serv­ing prison of­fi­cer, had paid him £500 to have a tree cut down out­side the prop­er­ties.

Hume asked for £200 from them but they were also sus­pi­cious and checked with their neigh­bour.


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