South Scotland

Wigtownshire woman jailed over Castle Douglas garage fraud

Wanda Campbell
Image caption Wanda Campbell was jailed for three years and ordered to pay compensation

A woman found guilty of conning a south of Scotland garage firm out of £110,000 has been jailed for three years.

Wanda Campbell, 43, of Auchenmalg near Newton Stewart, was also ordered to pay compensation of £110,000.

She was found guilty last month of acting with others to take the money from James Haugh Castle Douglas between March 2012 and October 2013.

Sheriff Scott Pattison said he had considered all submissions but there was no alternative to a jail term.

Dumfries Sheriff Court heard how the money had been transferred to Campbell to be kept safe and used as cash flow for the business.

Instead, she had lied and started spending it as soon as it was transferred and it was never available to the firm.

The business went into liquidation the day before her trial started in September.

'Elaborate fraud'

Sheriff Pattison said he had given careful regard to submissions regarding Campbell's dependent son, her own medical condition and an offer of compensation.

However, he concluded he had no option but to jail her.

Speaking following sentencing, Fraser Gibson, procurator fiscal for Dumfries and Galloway, said: "Wanda Campbell targeted her victims, gained their trust and then in a very elaborate fraud stole a huge amount of money from them.

"Fraudsters can be very convincing.

"There is no shame attached to becoming their victim and we would urge people to report such offences.

"If you are approached by anyone offering to do work, or notice a vulnerable friend, family member or neighbour in such circumstances please be vigilant, check their credentials and do not allow them to take advantage."

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