A DISGRACED Central Fife funeral director had admitted pretending to be a qualified nurse during the coronavirus pandemic.

Barry Fisher, 40, who is also known as Barry Stevenson-Hamilton, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court last Monday after admitting an offence under the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001.

The charge stated that he acted with intent to deceive at an undisclosed address in Lanarkshire on January 14 last year and falsely represented himself as a registered nurse.

An allegation that Fisher, of Old Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, provided false references and applied for a job as a registered nurse was dropped by the prosecution.

Fisher had pleaded not guilty initially but his guilty plea to the amended charge was accepted on March 14 this year, the day he was due to stand trial.

At that stage, the court heard that he had no previous convictions and Sheriff Ross Macfarlane deferred sentence for nine months and ordered him to be of good behaviour.

When Fisher returned to court on Monday last week, the sheriff admonished and dismissed him.

Stevenson-Hamilton was jailed for 33 months at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court in August after admitting to obtaining more than £130,000 by fraud between January 2016 and September 2019.

The offences took place while he was director of Stevenson Funeral Directors Ltd, which had premises across Fife including Cardenden, Cowdenbeath and Rosyth.

In September 2019, staff discovered that he had been taking money from customers for pre-paid funeral plans but the plans were never set up and he pocketed the cash instead.

More than 60 people who had paid in advance for funeral plans were affected according to police.

As reported previously by the Times, undertaker Sarah Yorke, from Kincardine, was the first to report the disgraced funeral director.

Stevenson-Hamilton told customers they were buying a pre-paid funeral plan with Avalon Trustee Company Ltd and that the money paid would be held securely by Avalon.

But Sarah, and a co-worker, found documents that showed customers weren’t registered with Avalon, money wasn’t paid to the company and, as a result, they had not purchased a funeral plan.

Describing him as a "Ted Bundy" character, she said Stevenson-Hamilton almost cost her her career.

"It was one of the worst times in my life," she said. "Everything that came out of his mouth was a lie.”