A ROSYTH woman who was defrauded of more than £4,000 by a disgraced West Fife funeral director has spoken of her "delight" after he finally admitted his guilt.

Barry Stevenson-Hamilton, director of Stevenson Funeral Directors Ltd, which had premises in Rosyth, and Funeral (Care) Scotland Ltd, admitted fraud at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

Susan Mitchell, 57, was in court after the cost of the funeral of her 93-year-old mother, Christina Matthewson, was lost in May 2019.

She told the Press: "We were delighted, it has been hanging over us all for three years and it was a relief to see him taken away in handcuffs.

"We are all just very relieved it is over, it all came out just after my mum died in April 2019 and it has tainted everything."

She said that when her father went to pay for the service, the company refused to accept a cheque initially, before seemingly changing their mind and telling the family it should be made out to Mr Stevenson-Hamilton himself.

They were told the money would then go back into the business but Susan said that it never did, and they never saw it again.

"At the time, we didn't think anything about it," she added.

"We thought it was a bit strange that they refused the cheque at first but didn't think it was anything like that.

"The undertaker herself was nothing but professional and kept us all going, at the end of the day my mum got the funeral we wanted for her, but we don't know where that money went – probably for one of his holidays."

The 39-year-old was first investigated following a complaint made in September 2019, which saw his businesses in Rosyth, Cowdenbeath, Cardenden and Kirkcaldy searched under warrant in October 2019.

Officers seized a significant amount of documentation, dating back to 2015, which showed that paperwork had not been processed correctly.

More than 60 people had paid in advance for funeral plans, however, due to the fraud, the majority of them have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket with no active policy in place.

In November 2019, officers arrested Stevenson-Hamilton and, following enquiries, he was charged.

Detective Constable Gillian McEwan said: "What Stevenson did is a complete betrayal of trust. It has been an incredibly stressful time for the people involved.

"Despite believing they had paid for their funeral arrangements, thereby relieving the financial burden from their families, they have been left in the lurch, with no policy, no money and no funds to buy a new policy.

"I hope that seeing Stevenson being held to account for his crimes can offer them some sort of solace."