Fin­try­manin £1ktax­ifraud

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Court re­porter

A taxi driver has de­frauded Stir­ling Coun­cil of al­most £1000 by mak­ing false claims un­der a ru­ral taxi scheme.

Robert Com­rie, of Main Street, Fin­try, pleaded guilty by let­ter to a charge of car­ry­ing out the fraud be­tween July 27 and Novem­ber 29, 2016.

The charge stated that the 63-year-old had in­duced coun­cil of­fi­cers to pay out on an in­voice, for £943.54, sub­mit­ted by him for a block book­ing which had made by his then em­ployee Lisa Jane Har­ri­son.

Taxi firm owner Com­rie had ac­cepted a book­ing which had been made in the name of a Janet Har­ri­son.

Stir­ling Sher­iff Court was told last Fri­day by fis­cal de­pute Michael Maguire that the De­mand Re­sponse trans­port scheme was run by Stir­ling Coun­cil in ru­ral ar­eas.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic can ac­cess a pri­vate taxi on routes where no bus ser­vice op­er­ates, he ex­plained.

The pas­sen­ger pays the price of a reg­u­lar bus fare and the coun­cil sub­sidise the ser­vice by tak­ing on the rest of the fare owed to the taxi.

Pas­sen­gers can con­tact taxi op­er­a­tors di­rectly out­side of­fice hours.

Mr Maguire told Sher­iff Wyl­lie Robert­son:“It wasn’t a gen­uine book­ing. [Com­rie] didn’t un­der­take any jour­neys, but he fab­ri­cated jour­neys so he could ob­tain sub­sidy from the coun­cil to the ex­tent in the charge.”

The fis­cal de­pute also pointed out that it ap­peared that some of the money had been re­paid to Stir­ling Coun­cil.

Com­rie, the court also heard. is now liv­ing in the is­land of Gozo in the Mal­tese ar­chi­pel­ago in the Mediter­ran­nean.

Sher­iff Robert­son de­ferred sen­tence un­til Novem­ber 21 for a so­cial work re­port and for his per­sonal ap­pear­ance.

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