Photo by Tamara Menzi

Wedding Talk

Wedding planner who defrauded couples out of nearly €150K is jailed

Castle manager diverted money to own account before fleeing to Ibiza

A wedding planner who defrauded couples out of £130,000 (€144,000) has been jailed for 30 months for his 'despicable' crime.

Craig Williamson, 42, left 39 couples in limbo when he diverted the money they paid to book their weddings at Guthrie Castle in Scotland into his own account, leaving the owner of the castle to cover the costs of the couples who were left with their wedding plans in tatters, according to the BBC.

Williamson had been the castle's estate manager since 2014, however when he went missing in April this year a missing person's inquiry was launched.

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The inquiry found that Williamson had withdrawn money and taken the Eurostar to Paris, before going on to Ibiza.

Williamson admitted a charge of fraud committed between July 2015 and April 2017.

According to his solicitor, Williamson had developed a gambling addiction which led to a 'temptation' where he 'ended up robbing Peter to pay Paul'.

One couple who had booked their wedding have had to postpone their day until 2019, while another bride who had paid £19,000 discovered just the week before her wedding that it was not on the books.

However the cost of the wedding was covered by the owner and it went ahead.

Guthrie Castle ceased taking bookings in December 2016 as a result of the fraud.

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael said: "It was despicable to take money in good faith from people who made wedding bookings."

"Jobs have been lost and couples left in doubt about weddings."