Thief given week to come up with plan to pay £8,600 compensation to Galashiels and Selkirk victims or face jail

Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

A thief has been given a week to provide evidence that he will be able to pay more than £8,500 in compensation to three people he swindled money out of or risk facing a prison sentence of up to two years.

Ross Butler, 40, pleaded guilty to three offences of theft by appropriation at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

He admitted receiving £6,055 to buy and rent equipment, building materials and documents for work to be carried out at a farmhouse near Selkirk between September and December 2016 but failing to purchase them and instead stealing the money.

Butler also admitted committing similar offences at two houses in Galashiels, in Ellwyn Terrace and Abbotsford Terrace, involving sums of £2,349 and £210 between July and November 2016.

His lawyer told the court he intended to repay a total of £8,614 to all three injured parties.

He hopes to borrow that money from family as well as sourcing some from income from his new job as a courier.

Sheriff Derrick McIntyre said he wanted to see concrete evidence that Butler had in place agreements to repay the cash he stole, adding: “Otherwise we are looking at two years potentially.”

Sentence was deferred until Thursday, January 3, on Butler, formerly of Weirgate Brae in St Boswells but now living in Perth.