A SERIAL scam artist spent more than a year stealing fuel from service stations in Fife and elsewhere.

Gordon Cuthbert would pretend his bank card was not working and promise to return to pay.

He would then disappear, having filled up his car, never to be seen again.

In another con, he got a job delivering a Chinese take-away meal and kept the money.

Cuthbert, 44, of Pilgrims Way Avenue, Cardenden, appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, having admitted various offences.

On numerous occasions between July 25, 2022 and May 3, 2023 he stole fuel, with a total value of £975.

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The service stations targeted were in St David’s Bay in Dalgety Bay; Tesco, Turnstone Road, Dunfermline; Morrisons, Flemington Road, BP at Bankhead Park and Shell on Roxburgh Road, all Glenrothes; Asda, Carberry Road, Kirkcaldy; BP at South Queensferry and Bridgend Services, Ladybank Road, Freuchie.

He also admitted that on February 25 last year at China Chef, Lumphinnans Road, Lochgelly, he stole a sum of money.

He had offered his services as a driver, was given an order to deliver and collect the money. Instead, he pocketed the £24.60 paid by the customer.

On April 1 last year at the Esso garage, Abbotshall Road, Kirkcaldy, he forced open an air pump machine and stole a sum of money.

In this incident, he pulled a vehicle against the air machine, caused damage to it and stole £202 from it.

Defence solicitor David McLaughlin said his client has had “a long struggle with substance misuse”.

He was on a drug treatment and testing order during the time he was stealing the fuel.

The court heard that Cuthbert is already paying back two compensation orders for similar offending.

Sheriff Craig McSherry deferred sentencing until November 27 for good behaviour and for Cuthbert to pay back the compensation in these other cases.