Serial conman warned he faces jail for defrauding victims in Galashiels and Selkirk out of £8,500

Ellwyn Terrace In Galashiels.
Ellwyn Terrace In Galashiels.

A serial conman has been warned he faces jail after admitting three offences of fraud involving more than £8,500.

Sentence was deferred as Ross Butler turned up at Selkirk Sheriff Court without a lawyer representing him.

Butler said he hadn’t wanted to pay his lawyer to travel down from Perth to speak on his behalf, but sheriff Peter Paterson explained that custody was uppermost in his mind so he gave the 40-year-old until this Friday, September 6, to apply for legal aid so that he can have the benefit of representation in court.

Butler, formerly of Galashiels and St Boswells but now giving an address in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, had previously pleaded guilty to three offences of theft by appropriation.

He admitted that at a farmhouse near Selkirk between September and December 2016 he was paid £6,055 to rent or buy equipment, building materials and documents for work to be carried out but failed to do so and stole the money instead.

He also owned up to committing similar offences at two houses in Galashiels between July and November 2016 – one in Ellwyn Terrace involving the sum of £2,349 and the other in Abbotsford Terrace involving £210.