Eyemouth gambler jailed for 12 months

Lee will stand trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court
Lee will stand trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court

An Eyemouth conman who swindled his own partner and members of the public out of thousands of pounds to pay for his gambling addiction has been jailed for 12 months at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

Jake Rutherford (24), pretended to his then girlfriend that he wished to book a holiday and obtained £1,800 from her earlier this year which he gambled away. Between April 26 and May 14 he stole £7,000 from her home in Paxton, Berwickshire.

Rutherford then attempted to pervert the course of justice by getting his former partner to make a false statement to the police saying he had reimbursed her.

He also admitted a fourth charge by breaching his bail conditions by repeatedly contacting her.

On a separate complaint Rutherford, of Market Place, admitted forming a fraudulent scheme where he advertised for sale gifts and other vouchers on Ebay but had no intention of delivering them. He obtained £1700 by fraud from three named people.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said Rutherford had obtained a substantial amount of money from vulnerable people.

He revealed that in order to repay £1,000 to his former partner’s father, he had taken out a £5,000 loan with payday lender Amigo and had induced his former partner to act as a guarantor. Mr Fraser said he feared she would be left with the £5,000 debt, plus the high interest, if Rutherford did not make the repayments.

Defence lawyer Mat Partrick said:”It takes someone with an addiction to reach rock bottom before things turn around and he has reached rock bottom, and he did obtain £1700 by fraud.”

He explained Rutherford would bet on-line, at the bookmakers and in casinos, adding:”Unless something is done to address this addiction then he won’t progress.”

But Sheriff Janyss Scott noted Rutherford had received a community pay back order and 300 hours unpaid work at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in July 2015 for forming a fraudulent scheme. She said that as well as targeting members of the public, he went on to defraud those who were closest to him and when he found himself in trouble got his partner to lie to the police.

She said:”I would be failing in my duty to the public if I did not impose a custodial sentence.”

Rutherford was jailed for four months for forming the fraudulent scheme to obtain £1700 and another eight months, to run consecutively, for the offences involving his partner.