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Last Updated: Friday, 27 May, 2005, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Ex-lawyer's fraud sentence is cut
Coat of arms
The court heard Manson had tried to repay for his crimes
A former lawyer sentenced to seven years in jail for frauds worth almost 3m has had his sentence cut after making efforts to pay back money.

Gordon Manson, from Edinburgh, had his term cut to five years by the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

Appeal judges said they took into account Manson had pleaded guilty and made efforts, which failed, to make full restitution.

Manson said he accepted prison was "inevitable".

The former businessman, who served a year in prison before being released pending his appeal, had asked the court to defer sentence on him to allow him to pay back more money.

No fraudster who appears before these courts ever acknowledges a lifestyle beyond the norm
Lord Penrose

Manson told the appeal judges, Lord Penrose and Lady Cosgrove, that the effect of his going to jail had been "extremely devastating" for his family.

He said he has now moved from Edinburgh and found employment with an overseas company and had an opportunity to rebuild his life.

He said: "It is completely different circumstances to the normal fraud situation where someone is obtaining sums of money to fund a lavish lifestyle."

Lord Penrose said: "No fraudster who appears before these courts ever acknowledges a lifestyle beyond the norm."

Manson, formerly of Carlton Terrace, Edinburgh, used forged documents and false identities to obtain financial backing for property deals in the city and in Aberdeen.

Guilty plea

He was caught defrauding a bank of 900,000, but released on bail and began work on another fraud against a bank to buy offices in Union Street, in Aberdeen.

He also conned a friend from his days at a fee-paying school out of 40,000 after he agreed to give him a loan for a business venture.

Manson originally faced almost 80 charges alleging 5m worth of fraud and attempted frauds totalling 20m.

However, he pleaded guilty to four frauds, an attempted fraud of 820,000 and breaches of company director's disqualification rules at the High Court in Edinburgh in November.

Ex-lawyer sentenced for fraud
10 Nov 03 |  Scotland
A decade of deceit
10 Nov 03 |  Scotland
'Gordon Manson ruined our lives'
10 Nov 03 |  Scotland
'Deluded' ex-lawyer's 2.7m fraud
03 Oct 03 |  Scotland

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