Tayside and Central Scotland

Cowboy builder Patrick Young jailed after £350,000 scams

Patrick Young Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption The court heard Patrick Young demonstrated no 'real expression of remorse'

A cowboy builder has been jailed for almost nine years after pocketing at least £350,000 in bogus repairs scam.

Patrick Young from Doune, Perthshire, conned a number of homeowners during a lucrative four-year swindle.

One victim, a 84 year-old woman from West Dunbartonshire, handed over £132,000 oblivious that the work should have cost around £59,000.

Young, 56, admitted 13 charges including fraud and extortion when he appeared in court last month.

On Friday, at the High Court in Paisley, Young was remanded in custody and jailed for eight years and nine months.

Judge Lord Matthews said: "Many of your victims were elderly, and, or vulnerable and as is recognised by Mr Robertson, there was in some cases a breach of the trust which they had reposed in you over some time."

Young, from Doune, Perthshire, was told it was "somewhat alarming" that according to his social work report he showed "no real insight" into the nature of his crimes and the judge said he could not detect any "real expression of remorse".

Lord Matthews said Young's crimes resulted in "significant financial loss" to many and "incalculable" emotional and psychological loss.

OAP targeted

Young targeted mostly vulnerable householders over a four year period between 2009 and 2013. His first victim was 84 year-old Katharine Liston, who lived at her cottage in Gartocharn, West Dunbartonshire.

An employee of Young initially turned asking about any maintenance needing done. But, a simple report of a damp patch at her porch ended up in massive upheaval at the OAP's home.

Prosecutor David Nicolson said: "Not knowing any better and trusting the builders, Mrs Liston agreed to the work."

She believed Young was the "boss of the operation". Included in the supposed repairs, the pensioner was told the roof needed replaced and steps required fixing.

Young also insisted "substantial drainage and excavation work" had to be carried out. He went on to state that unless work was done it could flood a neighbour's home.

In July 2013, police spoke to Mrs Liston during a probe into Young's business dealings. A surveyor later calculated that the true cost of the work would have been £58,740. The court heard, however, that Mrs Liston had handed over a total of £132,207.

Young moved on to con a number of people across Edinburgh and Stirlingshire.

Graham Robertson, representing Young, said the conman was aware the crimes were "extremely serious matters".

Young also faces a further hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act next year.

His three sons - Thomas, 28, William, 26, and Michael, 21 - also faced charges of being involved in the scam, but their not guilty pleas were accepted by prosecutors.