Peebles church fraudster avoids prison sentence

Selkirk Sheriff CourtSelkirk Sheriff Court
Selkirk Sheriff Court
A 56-year-old man who defrauded a Peebles church group out of more than £22,000 has avoided prison "by the slimmest of margins."

Gordon Marshall from Motherwell had been found guilty after a trial at Selkirk Sheriff Court of saying a company by the name of Thistle Curtains and Walling Systems based in East Kilbride would supply and fit a quantity of windows and doors for a new church.

He claimed that it was a legitimate company and induced a member of the Peebles Baptist Church group to make an initial payment of £22,743.60.

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But the truth was that he failed to supply the windows and doors, the company was not legitimate and he failed to return the initial payment

obtaining it by fraud.

The offence happened in July 2019 and the church was never built.

Marshall was also convicted of two other frauds involving £1075 and £800 to supply householders in Bonnyrigg and Uplawmoor with kitchen tops in 2019 and 2020.

Sheriff Robert Carr said:"Taking all matters into account I have decided by the slimmest of margins to impose a community-based disposal."

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He ordered that Marshall pay back £24,618.60 to the church group and the two families he defrauded with two £250 compensation orders to the two families

who were the victims of his fraud for the stress they had suffered.

The total sum he will have to pay within 18 months is £25,118.60.

In addition he was put on a night time curfew between the hours of 7p.m. and 7a.m. at his Motherwell home and a Community Pay Back Order was imposed involving

150 hours of unpaid work and supervision for the next two years.