HMA v ALEXANDER WALKER

Today at the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Matthews sentenced Alexander Walker to six years imprisonment after he pled guilty to fraud

On sentencing Lord Matthews made the following statement in court:

“You have pleaded guilty to what can only be described as a despicable offence. Over a period of almost ten years you preyed on the good nature of a man whose only interest was in helping you because your aunt was a former colleague of his. As a result of your depredations you defrauded him of the sum of £480, 000. He had worked hard and provided for his retirement but is now living in what I am told are relatively straitened circumstances in a retirement home. He has also been deprived of the opportunity of leaving his four children well provided for after his death.

You squandered the money and appear to some extent at least to have been enjoying, at his expense, the lifestyle to which he was entitled, if he chose to embark on it, and which has been denied to him.

I have read all of the reports in this case and listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf by Mr Prais. You have now expressed remorse but it has a hollow ring to it. You had ample opportunity over the lengthy period of this fraud to demonstrate your remorse by stopping what you were doing.

You were not insane and the extent to which your undoubted mental illness contributed to these matters is not at all clear. I am prepared to take it into account but nonetheless I must pass a substantial custodial sentence, albeit nothing I can do can repair the damage you have caused. Had this matter gone to trial I would have imposed a sentence of nine years imprisonment. As it is, in view of what I have been told as to your willingness to plead guilty at an early stage and the reasons why that did not happen I am prepared to reduce that sentence to one of imprisonment for six years.

That will run from 23 August 2010, when you were remanded in custody”.