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