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PF Edinburgh v Zola Affley or McGoldrick


Dec 12, 2023

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today, Sheriff R W Flinn imposed a 6-month custodial sentence on Zola Affley or McGoldrick. A trial had previously found the offender to be guilty of fraud.

In imposing upon the accused a custodial sentence of six months, Sheriff R W Flinn, Sheriff of Lothian and Borders at Edinburgh, set out his reasons in the following terms:

“Zola McGoldrick, you were found guilty after trial of fraud. Shortly stated, this was a lengthy course of fraudulent conduct whereby you provided the complainers with endless excuses for the non-payment of your rent, supported by documents forged by you.  In fact you told them lie after lie.  Their loss was of the order £28,400. They are receiving modest payments of a small part only of that sum.  The rest is irrecoverable. Your behaviour was deliberate and continuing.  You befriended the complainers.  When your story started to unravel, you failed to admit your guilt. Your behaviour had the element of confidence trickery in it.

I noted at the last hearing, on 14 November, that the information set out in the Criminal Justice Social Work Report was at odds with the evidence led at trial. All that information was provided to social work by you. I allowed your agent an opportunity of verifying some of these elements of the Report.  That opportunity has not been taken up in any meaningful way.  I cannot have confidence in the content of the report, or its recommendations, given that they are based on information that has not been verified. 

Having regard to the circumstances of this offence, I am satisfied that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence. I will therefore impose a custodial sentence of six months, from today’s date. There is no scope for a discount, and no reduction for time spent on remand. In restricting my sentence to six months, I take into account your age, the fact that you are a first offender, your previous good character, and the impact that a custodial sentence will have on your university studies thereafter. You will normally serve three months, and it may be that you can keep your Edinburgh accommodation, and retrieve your position with the University, but that is a matter for you.”