A TRIO of bogus workmen tried to con an elderly man out of £3000 by pretending his roof was rotten and needed to be repaired.

Mark McGowan appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court this week to be sentenced for his part in the attempted fraud after previously pleading guilty to the offence.

The other two men have not been traced despite the incident occurring in April 2018.

McGowan was charged with inducing the elderly gentleman to attend a Bank of Scotland branch in Rutherglen to withdraw the cash and attempt to obtain this money by fraud, whilst acting with others.

The court heard the complainer was within his home in Stewarton Drive, Cambuslang, when he became aware of someone at his door.

This was one of the two unknown suspects, who stated that he would clean all of the gutters and push one loose roof tile into place for £20.

The elderly gentleman agreed, and the suspect said he would come back the next morning.

The next day, McGowan and the two suspects attended the home. A ladder was placed against a wall.

McGowan held this ladder whilst one of the suspects climbed onto the roof and threw slates to the ground. The other suspect was engaged in conversation with the elderly gentleman at this point.

The prosecutor said: “A small bit of rotten wood was thrown from the roof. The suspects and the accused explained to the complainer that the roof was rotten and would require around £3000 worth of work.

“The accused thereafter climbed onto the roof and was observed by the complainer to continue stripping tiles and throwing them from the roof.

“A short time later, the two suspects asked the complainer to attend the back garden.

"Suspect one stood at the bottom of the garden looking at the roof, explaining the joists were rotten and could be fixed by a joiner he knew. A conversation took place between the witness, the suspects, and the accused.”

The pensioner was advised to go to the bank and withdraw £3000. Meanwhile, the two suspects left the property, leaving McGowan working on the roof.

Whilst the elderly man was within the bank, staff called police due to suspicions about the situation.

Officers attended at his home, where the accused was on the roof.

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The prosecutor added: “They requested that he come down and his details were noted. He was then allowed to leave.

“Police thereafter attended at his house on June 13, 2018, where he was informed of his arrest.

“He was taken to Falkirk police office and interviewed. He stated he was asked to carry out this work by the two other males. He was thereafter cautioned and charged and made no reply.”

McGowan’s solicitor said his client was offered work by the suspects and was not made aware of the fraud. 

But Sheriff Charles Lugton replied: “He pleaded guilty to attempted fraud; does he accept that?”

The lawyer replied “yes”, and said McGowan is very sorry for the harm caused to the elderly man.

He added: “He’s not heard from the two men since as they have simply disappeared. He recently managed to secure his own tenancy and is now working as a supervisor.

“He accepts it was foolish of him to take the work from these people. No money was ever taken from the complainer and my client has not benefited in any way.

“It’s been a constant headache from him for the past few years. He’s taken full responsibility and is very sorry.

“He pleaded guilty to save the court time and expense and to save the complainer any stress. This is really his only offence his entire life. He pulled himself up from a difficult childhood.”

McGowan, of Alloa, was tagged and ordered to stay within his home between 7pm-7am for 90 days.