Couple unhappy as tradesman avoids prison

Hamilton Sheriff Court
Hamilton Sheriff Court

A Crossford electrician who took more than £5,000 for kitchen work that was never done has been found guilty of fraud.

The Motherwell couple who he cheated have branded Gerard Devanney a “cowboy” as he was handed an unpaid community work order at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

Devanney, 52, of Holmwood Park, Crossford, was found guilty of taking the cash for a new kitchen and associated electrical work with no intention of carrying out what he’d promised. The court heard that during the spring of 2017 he told Andrew and Elaine Burton he had ordered kitchen components for their home in Chesters Crescent, Motherwell.

However, no one arrived to do the work and after getting fed up with Devanney’s excuses the customers went to the police. Devanney denied any criminal intent and his lawyer, Ali Murray, said he was embarrassed by the episode.

Mr Murray told the court: “He had a cash flow problem. He refers to the complainers as a lovely couple and feels he let them down.He has repaid them. He is contrite, embarrassed and very concerned as to what the outcome of this court case might be. Other than road traffic matters, he has no previous convictions and I would invite the court to be as lenient as possible.”

Sheriff David Hall said Devanney deserved credit for paying back the four-figure sum and ordered him to do 100 hours of unpaid community work within three months.

Outside court Mrs Burton expressed disappointment at the sentence. She said: “That will be nothing to him. I would have liked to see him jailed as that is the only way some people learn. He has his fancy house in the Clyde Valley while we are paying interest on a five-year loan we took out as we had to find someone else to install our kitchen. There are so many cowboys out there - we didn’t know he was one of them.”