AN AYRSHIRE recycling consultant, who stole more than £300,000 in tax, has been jailed.

John Hamill, 53, of Stewarton, traded as a sole proprietor for GH Consulting from his home in McCardel Way, but was investigated by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over failure to pay income tax.

Following an investigation it was discovered that Hamill had made profits of over £1.3 million but had failed to pay any Income Tax, between April 6, 2006 and April 5, 2014.

Until his arrest in July 2014, Hamill, also known as Gerry, stole a total of £309,941.95.

He pleaded guilty to Income Tax fraud at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court on April 3, 2018 and was sentenced to 21 months in jail on Friday, May 11.

Hamill has since paid back £56,000 of the fraud.

Joe Hendry, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Hamill failed to register for Self Assessment and used the stolen tax to fund his lifestyle. This was money that should have been funding vital public services.

“Tax fraud is a serious crime and I ask anyone with information about those who may be involved to call our fraud hotline on 0800 788 887 or contact us online.”