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YOU GOT OFF LIGHTLY; Judges' blast as conman sent back to jail.

Byline: Brian Horne

A BOGUS workman who conned a frail OAP out of more than pounds 34,000 was sent back to jail yesterday.

Appeal judges said they wished they could have given him a longer sentence.

They told Dale Robertson he had got off lightly after committing a "wicked and despicable offence".

The 30-year-old was jailed for two years for preying on a Peterhead woman in her 70s for almost a year.

A jury at the town's sheriff court heard the self-employed gardener pretended he had carried out extensive work on her house and garden.

In July last year, Robertson was freed pending the outcome of an attempt to overturn his fraud conviction. After a brief hearing yesterday, Lord Reed, sitting with Lords Mackay of Drumadoon and Brodie, threw out his appeal, meaning he must complete his sentence.

But because he had not tried to challenge the two-year term, they could not change it.

Announcing their ruling at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, Lord Reed told Robertson: "This was a wicked and despicable offence and it is a matter of regret to this court that it is not possible to increase this sentence. Had it been possible, we would have done so."

The trial in June last year heard that neighbours saw Robertson sweeping outside the OAP's home one afternoon but nothing was done to justify the huge payments.

Carers raised the alarm after becoming suspicious when Robertson of New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, said he could not give an address as he was "between houses" and could not remember his phone number.


DISGUST: Lord Reed
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 4, 2009
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