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Fraudster paid for two Playstations in Aviemore in counterfeit 'Twenty Poonds'

By Court Reporter

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Two people who advertised Playstations for sale on Gumtree were paid by counterfeit £20 notes.

The 'buyer' was 27 year old Ross Melville of Grainish Way in Aviemore and Inverness Sheriff Court was told that his victims were locals.

He admitted two charges of fraud and one of passing counterfeit notes.

Defence solicitor David Patterson told Inverness Sheriff Court earlier today: "He is now seen as an outcast."

The court heard previously when sentence was deferred for a background report that Melville bought the fake notes online that included the misspelling 'Twenty Poonds'.

Fiscal depute Karen Poke said that two transactions for the games consoles were advertised on Gumtree on September 6, 2020 and Melville met the sellers the following day.

One was for sale at £200 and he handed over 10 x £20 notes and the other was for £260. Melville used a roll of £20 notes on this occasion.

When the first seller went to pay it in at the bank, the spelling mistake was spotted and the notes declared counterfeit. The playstation was never recovered.

The second victim was suspicious when he unfolded the notes because they 'felt strange'.

Ms Poke said he went to Melville's door and when there was no reply, he informed the police.

Officers recovered the Playstation after Melville offered the explanation that he had not realised the notes were fake.

However Sheriff Frazer heard that Melville had found his household £700 worse off after benefits payments were stopped and he chose to buy the consoles online to sell on for real cash due to the notes being of 'such poor quality'.

Sheriff Frazer ordered Melville to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and remain under social work supervision for 16 months.

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