Andrew Batchelor was a man who wanted to go places and enjoy the good things in life.

He had been given a privileged middle-class upbringing but that apparently was not enough.

Over the years Batchelor, a jeweller from Clarkston, developed a taste for expensive timepieces, designer clothes, fine dining, and luxury foreign travel.

However, his earnings from the shops that he ran were not enough to fund his lavish lifestyle which included fine dining.

Instead, he turned to crime using his knowledge of the jewellery trade to dupe his victims out of valuables worth nearly £1 million.

Over a 15-year period, he was nicknamed the ‘Glasgow Goldfinger’ and ‘Menace of Mayfair’ on his way to three spells behind bars, having been handed sentences totalling almost 15 years.

Born to a respectable family Batchelor loved jewellery from a young age, particularly expensive watches.

After he left school he opened shops in Paisley and East Kilbride.

But behind the charming exterior lay a man who was living beyond his means and he was declared bankrupt in 1993 with debts of £300,000.

He reappeared a year later running a third jewellery shop in Royal Exchange Square in the centre of Glasgow but his need for a luxury lifestyle had not changed.

Batchelor realised that the quickest and easiest way to get funds was targeting his most vulnerable clients many of them elderly men and women who had brought pieces to be sold or repaired by him.

He promised them top prices to persuade them to part with their valuables, which included watches and necklaces.

But when he failed to pay up he would claim they had been sent to London for valuation and had gone missing in the post.

On one occasion he placed a cubic zirconium stone worth £125 in the shop window, with a price tag of £22,000. A similar gemstone was offered as a ‘Star Buy’ at £12,000.

The money would be used to fund lavish shopping sprees to London, where had his hair cut in Vidal Sassoon’s salon and trips to New York.

At one stage his American Express card showed that he had spent more than £36,000 on clothes, travel and dining out in 18 months.

Around his time he had moved into a luxury flat in Newton Mearns and bought a flat in London from the proceeds.

By 1997 his lavish lifestyle was in danger of collapse and he began setting up ‘phoenix’ companies, leaving trails of debts.

It was inevitable that Batchelor, having duped so many people, would come to the attention of the police.

He had also gained an unsavoury reputation in his trade.

Many Glasgow jewellers who assisted in the resulting criminal investigation worried that their own reputations were being put at risk.

Angry customers had also begun complaining to newspapers after his East Kilbride business collapsed leaving them out of pocket.

A criminal investigation involving 10 police officers was then launched at Stewart Street Police office in Glasgow. They investigated more than 150 separate complaints, 92 of which involved older people.

Batchelor was arrested in 1998 and in February 1999, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court where he admitted a catalogue of offences involving jewellery and valuables.

He also pled guilty to six charges of breach of the peace, where he had shouted, threatened and abused complaining customers.

Because of the seriousness of his crimes, the Sheriff sent the case to the High Court - which has greater powers of sentencing - where he was given eight years.

Lord Cullen told Batchelor before sending him down: “Many of the people who suffered were elderly and lost possessions they could ill afford to lose.”

At the end of the case, Detective Constable David Morrison who had led the 10-strong police team said: “It has given us a strong sense of gratification to see the appreciation of so many of the victims that this man has been brought to book.”

Batchelor claimed that the sentence was excessive but at a court hearing in 2000 three appeal judges in Edinburgh disagreed, saying his crimes had been callous and calculating.

The court was also told that the value of his frauds was upwards of £380,000 - around £750,000 in today’s money.

After serving five years, Batchelor headed for the anonymity of London - and was soon up to old tricks.

He set up a website and an up-market address for what looked like a reputable business - The Watch and Jewellery Exchange of Mayfair.

It was soon attracting a large number of customers looking to cash in on their valuables.

Some were trying to raise funds for their children’s weddings, while one wanted to fund a charity trip to Africa, Many were elderly and vulnerable to his soft Scottish brogue, easy charm and smart designer suits.

By 2006, Batchelor was operating from the champagne bar of a Mayfair hotel, where he bought and sold Rolex, Tag Heuer and Cartier watches worth around £40,000.

Though his unsuspecting customers had no idea the immaculate jeweller was a convicted thief.

However, a young solicitor became suspicious of Batchelor and researched his past on the internet.

When he realised Batchelor’s true identity he alerted the police.

Eventually, Batchelor was arrested with more than 45 potential victims being identified by investigators He was jailed for five years at Isleworth Crown Court in London in 2009 after pleading guilty to 29 charges.

Police believe the prolific fraudster had pocketed around £230,000 with this latest scam, most of which was squandered on his extravagant lifestyle.

No-one was immune.

He targeted company directors, accountants, hedge fund managers, lawyers, head teachers, nurses and others from across the UK and Holland. One unsuspecting victim was left £47,000 out of pocket.

Prosecutor Mark Fenhalls said customers were wooed by misleading radio advertising, a slick and impressive website, letter-headed notepaper and the upmarket address.

Batchelor drove a BMW, lived in luxury apartments in Chelsea, claimed his family owned a jewellery chain, met his unsuspecting clients in five-star hotels, and once turned up for a meeting sporting Gucci and Cartier shopping bags.

It was, said Mr Fenhalls, all part of Batchelor’s successful veneer of authenticity.

He added: “He was in reality no more than a common thief, who pretended to be a successful and well-to-do businessman.”

After his release from prison, a seemingly unrepentant Batchelor came to the attention of the police for a third time and was soon back behind bars.

In 2012, now 54 he was jailed for two-and-a-half years at Southwark Crown Court in London after tricking clients into parting with thousands of pounds worth of jewellery, including Cartier bracelets and Rolex watches.

Batchelor was said to have wined and dined customers at top hotels before pawning or selling their possessions and pocketing the cash One of his many victims Tom Miller, 33, was duped out of a Rolex and £3500 watch after meeting Batchelor in posh Claridge’s hotel in London.

Tom said at the time: “I didn’t even realise he had been released from prison for the last set of offences. You would have thought he would have spent longer in prison. He has obviously not learned his lesson. Clearly, he’s never going to go straight.”

Before sentencing, Judge Emma Arbuthnot told Batchelor: “Within five months of leaving prison in September 2011 you set up a website to deal in luxury goods such as handbags and luggage but the site also showed images of jewellery.

“Inevitably this attracted interest from members of the public who had fallen on hard times and needed to raise money by selling their valuables.

“You called your site Park Lane Vintage, it was based in the heart of Mayfair. At least two of the women said this address gave them confidence you were a legitimate businessman. What they did not know was that you had 35 previous convictions for defrauding innocent members of the public of their jewellery.”

Little has been heard of Batchelor since his release from his last prison sentence.

However, it is clear that his frauds have had a lasting effect on many of his victims.

Marian Phin was a friend of the conman and was cheated out of £15,000.

The 68-year-old said in an interview in 2009: “My husband, David, died from a heart attack and I am certain the anger, frustration and stress of being cheated by someone we trusted contributed to his death.

“It is incredible that someone who could have done so much with his life decided to ruin so many lives.”