A DISGRACED West Fife funeral director who scammed vulnerable customers has been jailed for 33 months.

Barry Stevenson-Hamilton was charged with having formed a scheme to obtain money by fraud, acquiring £130,207 between January 2016 and September 2019.

But victims say that the sentence is not enough, and that they were "disgusted".

Sarah Yorke, who had worked under the conman and was in court in Kirkcaldy for the sentencing last Thursday, said that she and others who had been affected would be appealing.

"It is not even a month for every victim," she told the Press.

"There were a lot of people there eager to find out the sentence, the amount of people who backed us who didn't even know us when they heard what he had done.

"It is not even bitter-sweet, there has been no consequence for his actions, we weren't happy, there was no celebration, no clapping.

"The son of one of the victims had words to say to the judge afterwards.

"The mood was bleak."

The director of Stevenson Funeral Directors Ltd, which had premises in Rosyth, and Funeral (Care) Scotland Ltd, admitted to the charge in July in front of a court full of victims who cheered at his guilty plea.

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.

Staff uncovered the plot in September 2019, and since then have been waiting alongside more than 60 confirmed victims for a judgement to be made.

They had hoped that the guilty plea, and now sentencing, would draw the experience to a close.

But Sarah, who is from Kincardine and struggled to find a job after leaving Stevenson-Hamilton's firm, says that they will continue to call for justice.

"I've come this far, we're not going to give up," she added.

"It's been three years, I'm not giving up and I'm not going to give up on these families."

Susan Mitchell, from Rosyth, was in court after her father was defrauded of more than £4,000 when he paid for her mother's funeral.

The family were able to hold a service, though later Susan discovered that none of the money paid had actually gone towards it.

She said: "We were all really angry. I just don't understand how he got such a light sentence, it started out as 42 months but he is apparently very remorseful and it moved to 33.

"All these vulnerable people – which the judge mentioned – aren't getting anything."

According to Susan, even others sitting nearby voiced how "disgusting" the result was, including those who were appearing in court themselves.

"The mood was really angry," she continued.

"It feels like a slap in the face for people who have lost money.

"It has been an anti-climax after three years, we were all shocked and angry."