A callous workman who duped an 80-year-old Monsignor out of £10,500 for work on his home has been jailed.
Alan McAllister, 29, convinced Henry Docherty - who worked with the now Pope Benedict XVI in Rome - he needed work done to his gutters and drains.
McAllister did not do or plan on doing any work to the semi-detached house in Glasgow's Crookston area, but took thousands from the elderly man.
The bogus worker was snared when his DNA was found on paperwork left at Mgr Docherty's home and handed to police.
McAllister, of Cambuslang, pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to gaining the cash by fraud between July and August 2010.
He was originally accused along with Peter McAllister, 29, Paul McKillop, 47, and Ryan Johnstone, 37, of obtaining £17,180 by fraud.
Passing sentence sheriff Ian Miller described his actions as a "despicable fraud" that was "preying on a vulnerable man".
He told McAllister custody was the only option and jailed him for 320 days reduced from 360 days.
The court was told one of his former co-accused approached Mgr Docherty at his home, claiming to be from a builders company.
Procurator fiscal depute Alan McArthur told the court the male suggested to the elderly man that certain work needed carried out on the gutters and drains and it would cost £10,500.
Mgr Docherty was under the impression Scottish Water would cover the costs but was told the work could be carried out and paid for and he could claim the cash back from the authority.
Mr McArthur said: "The complainer gave over £2000 cash and a cheque for the balance.
"The complainer then having done that decided to contact Scottish Water himself who said they had no record of any builders or such like contacting them about his property so he immediately cancelled the cheque for ú8,500.
"As a result of this contact with that authority he also contacted his insurance company who sent out an expert to look at the property and the man that came out said that these items the accused wanted to fix did not require any work and even if they did the maximum price would be about £3000."
The police were then contacted who launched an investigation and McAllister was caught.
Mr McArthur added: "This accused's DNA was found on items of paperwork left by the builders at the locus."
Defence lawyer Charles Sharkey said his client was under pressure of gambling debts and admits full responsibility. He said: "He is also someone who has expressed regret, remorse and shame."
Mgr Docherty, now 82, was the first British priest to serve in the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith between 1979 and 1987, an organisation based in Vatican City that maintains Catholic orthodoxy.
During his time there he worked with the then Cardinal Ratzinger who was made Pope in April 2005.
He was later given the honorary title of Monsignor and afterwards appointed as a Protonotary Apostolic, the highest ranking priest beneath a Bishop by Pope Benedict XVI.
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