Man could lose leg due to fraud sentence

Scott Birley was jailed for 14 months at York Crown Court.
Scott Birley was jailed for 14 months at York Crown Court.

A Scarborough man faces having his leg amputated after being jailed for defrauding his girlfriend out of £400

Scott Birley, who has had a knee replacement, now faces the prospect of losing his deteriorating limb if he misses out on a vital operation whilst serving his 14-month sentence.

Birley, 34, of Maple Drive, appeared before York Crown Court last Thursday for sentencing, having previous admitted eight charges of fraud and one of breaching a non-molestation order by sending his ex-wife a suicide note.

Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting told how after being released from hospital following an operation, Birley had moved in with his girlfriend in order to recuperate.

The woman, who has a limited income, helped Birley pay for some items with her credit card, transactions for which she was repaid by him.

However, between December, 2012, and February, this year, Birley started using the card to pay for several additions when she was out of the house. The court heard that as a result, his partner had found herself in financial trouble with a damaged credit rating.

Birley then began advertising an electric guitar on e-bay, accepting two bids, one for £500 and the other for £560, but never delivering the item. The monies were paid into Birley’s bank account which he had set up in contravention of a 2009 court order restricting his financial dealings because of his past long record for fraud.

Mr Mitcheson said Birley was also under a non-molestation order, granted to his ex-wife in January, this year. However, on February 21, Birley sent her a letter in which he said he would have taken his own life by the time she read it.

Suzanne Proctor, mitigating, confirmed her client made an attempt on his life, one of several, having been diagnosed with psychotic depression as a result of his medical problems, which also include epilepsy.

Adding that her client was now “incredibly terrified” of a custodial sentence because of his problems, Mrs Proctor said her client’s recent offending was in a different league to the sophisticated frauds he had committed in the past.