A Northern Ireland man has been sentenced for fraud and ordered to pay £7000 after failing to pay for two pedigree bulls bought privately from an Aberdeenshire breeder.

Hamish Sclater, who owns the Deveron Aberdeen Angus herd based at Denhead of Dunlugas, Turriff, sold the two bulls in 2018 to Samuel Steven Boyd, who at that stage was well known in the area having worked on a couple of farms. When he turned up Denhead of Dunlugas in a year-old Range Rover, looking to buy the animals after taking on a new farm, Mr Sclater was quite comfortable selling them.

"At the time, May, 2018, he told me he had taken on an estate in Castle Douglas and could I keep the bulls for him until August, when he would pay for them," Mr Sclater told The Scottish Farmer.

"By August, he told me the deal had fallen through and he would take the bulls to Northern Ireland instead."

After four bounced cheques from four different bank accounts, Mr Sclater then contacted the police when the bulls had been sold for an agreed sum of £3000 and £3800, with an additional £130 charged for TB testing.

"It was a most bizarre situation. We sell bulls regularly to people privately. They turn up with a pick-up and trailer, decide on a bull and a price, load him onto the trailer and hand over a cheque. The whole agriculture world is generally a very honest," said Mr Sclater.

Mr Boyd who received a custodial sentence for a previous offence, was sentenced at Banff Sheriff Court where he was ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work, remain under the supervision of social workers for 18 months and to pay back Mr Sclater £7000 of compensation.