Fraudster ran up £350 hotel bill using Lauder woman’s bank cards after meeting via dating agency

A 47-year-old fraudster described in court as an old-school conman has admitted using a Borders woman’s bank cards to run up £350 worth of hotel bills.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

Duncan Flett will be sentenced for that offence next month.

Flett met his victim via a dating agency and visited her at her home in Lauder in November.

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While there, he came across two Bank of Scotland cards and used them to pay bills at four hotels in Edinburgh.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser told Jedburgh Sheriff Court that Flett, giving an address in Ancrum Court in Dundee, had an extensive list of previous convictions.

Flett pleaded guilty to forming a fraudulent scheme to pay hotel bills using bank cards without their owner’s knowledge or consent.

Defence lawyer Colin Severin admitted his client had used the cards to pay for alcohol.

He added that prison had not been a deterrent for Flett in the past and asked that an alternative sentence be imposed to help him tackle his drink problems.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said he was deeply sceptical of that suggestion and in his view Flett was just “an old-fashioned conman” out to take advantage of people.

However, he accepted it had been a long time since a community-based sentence had been tried so he agreed to consider that request.

Sentencing was deferred until August 12 for the production of a criminal justice social work report and restriction-of-liberty order assessment.

Flett was released on bail in the meantime with the special condition that he reports daily to a police station in Dundee.