Bogus workmen brothers targeted Fife pensioners


Two brothers have appeared in court for preying on elderly homeowners and conning them out of large sums of money. 

William McPhee (32) targeted vulnerable victims across Fife telling them work was required to their homes and acting aggressively to obtain cash payments. 

One of the victims was an 86-year-old, who was looking after his wife who has severe Alzheimer’s. 

William McPhee lied about work being required to his roof and then sent the man to the bank on two occasions as the cost of the bogus work continued to increase. 

His younger brother Hugh McPhee also became involved in the scam and took maggots into a pensioner’s home to make them think work was required. 

The McPhees, who live at Thornton Wood travellers site, near Kelty, both appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court. 

Hugh McPhee (19)  admitted that on 26th July last year at Ballingry Road, Ballingry, he pretended to a 74-year-old man that his property had woodworm and required treatment, the truth being he knew there was no woodworm present. 

He exhibited maggots he had taken to the property, drove the man to the bank to obtain cash, induced him to pay for bogus work and obtained £930 by fraud. 

William McPhee admitted that on 1st and 2nd March at Castlandhill Road, Rosyth, while acting with others, he pretended to a male householder, aged 66, that remedial work was required to his roof.  

He induced the man to pay for work that was not completed and in any event was unnecessary and obtained £1600 by fraud. 

He also admitted that on 6th April at Edzell Park, Kirkcaldy, he engaged in an aggressive commercial practice by insisting that the householder, a 78-year-old man, drive to the bank to obtain money and then demanded he hand over more money than agreed. 

He further admitted that on 22nd April at Harley Street, Rosyth, he pretended to the householder, an 86-year-old man, that roof slates were loose and that the roof was infested with dry rot.  

He induced the man to pay for work that was unnecessary and was not completed, obtaining £1200 by fraud. 

The court heard that William McPhee was jailed in 2005 for similar offences. 

Sheriff Charles MacNair called for reports but told William McPhee he would be receiving a jail sentence and he was remanded in custody. 

He will be sentenced on 3rd October as will Hugh McPhee who was granted bail.









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