A cowboy joiner who admitted scamming thousands from Broughty Ferry and Monifieth residents was a “Walter Mitty” character, according to one of his victims.
Fraudster Ian Wilson, 59, used a fake name after meeting some of his victims at pubs in Broughty Ferry.
Wilson admitted five charges of fraud with a sheriff telling him that he is at risk of a jail sentence. His solicitor said Wilson is under threat and as a result, his exact address was not disclosed in court.
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One of his victims, Andy Goudie, has admitted the whole scenario played out “like a TV movie”.
He added: “This man had been in our company for a period of time and no one had a clue, the police were even perplexed by his conduct.
“He always had big wads of cash and he’d even talked about running a water taxi service between Dundee and Perth – looking back the best way to describe him was a Walter Mitty character.
“I’m more disappointed by everything that has happened. I really just want to know why he did it? He left all of his tools behind, we believe his past must have caught up with him.”
The court heard that Wilson – who used the name ‘Ian Howard’ – received a £2,600 advance payment from his first victim for work at the man’s home on Leemount Lane.
Wilson also said he would fit a shower pod for a second man on Cross Street for £2,200.
However, he repeatedly made excuses about the materials being delayed and the shower pod never arrived.
Both men made attempts to contact Wilson but they were unsuccessful.
Wilson met a man at the Eagle Coaching Inn who was aware of work he had previously completed to a high standard.
The man said his 81-year-old mother wanted a bathroom fitted and was happy to pay the £1,000 quoted.
Wilson was paid the money by the woman but over the next few weeks, she received numerous messages from the accused until it was revealed Wilson had fled the area with her £1,000.
Prosecutor Stewart Duncan said that Wilson was recommended to carry out work on a new kitchen for a fourth victim in January 2016.
Mr Duncan said: “Over the following weeks, the complainer attended at Howden’s joinery to make alterations to the plans and gave the accused £3,000 for materials.
“The accused provided the complainer with the materials. Over a few weeks, the accused said that the kitchen would be delayed.
“On three separate occasions the accused said the kitchen would arrive but it never did.”
The final victim was the daughter of one of Wilson’s first victims. He attended at her home in Edinburgh and Wilson was later given £3,000 by her father for work to be carried out.
No building materials arrived and the woman received no further contact from Wilson.
Police were contacted and spoke to the owner of the Abertay Guest House where Wilson had been residing for eight months.
The owner said Wilson had vacated his room without warning and had paid rent up until February 2016.
Solicitor advocate Judith Hutchison, defending, told Sheriff Alastair Carmichael that Wilson had brought £6,000 to court in the hope of paying compensation.
She said although that would not be possible at prior to being sentenced, it was Wilson’s position that he intended to sell items to raise a “substantial” amount which will take him nearer to £11,500.
Ms Hutchison said Wilson, who now lives in the Blackpool area, currently looks after his ill partner.
Before deferring sentence until March for reports, Sheriff Carmichael said: “Because of your record and what you have pleaded guilty to, I am considering a custodial sentence but also, because of that, I have to look at other options.”