A CONMAN from Inverkip jailed over a huge half-a-million-pound fraud which funded his lavish lifestyle has now been ordered to hand over £281k.

Paul Galbraith, who siphoned off £513,200 while working as a project manager on a business development, was sentenced to five years behind bars back in 2019.

The money he swindled had been paid into a building society account in his pensioner mother's name, after he submitted invoices from a non-existent company for work which had not been carried out.

The 53-year-old will now have to stump up over half the amount he plundered, after prosecutors went after him financially under proceeds of crime legislation.

At a hearing held at Paisley Sheriff Court Galbraith agreed to hand over £281,790 within the next six months.

The court heard that the sum available was from the value of his home.

Galbraith had used the fraudulently-acquired cash to buy a property in Inverkip outright and also splashed out on goods and services across the globe - from designer clothes, handbags and watches, to flights, five-star hotels and private members clubs.

He paid £3,610 for a Louis Vuitton handbag at a store in Cancun, Mexico, as a gift for one of his daughters, and over £10,000 at the Hugo Boss store in Glasgow over a period of eight months.

He also spent £4,695 with Watches of Switzerland, over £4,000 at 29 Private Members Club in Glasgow's Royal Exchange Square and between February and July 2014 shelled out over £15,000 on flights and holidays, including a trip to Australia.

Galbraith also made several cash withdrawals on the account, making ten £500 withdrawals in one month.

On one occasion he lifted £2,000, and had a spending habit which was so out-of-control he ended up overdrawn on the account.

A court heard how Galbraith loved the high life so much that his mum told police: "It always had to be the best of gear.

"With my other son, you could go to Primark and buy him a shirt and he'd be over the moon.

"With Paul, you'd have to go to Topman."

Galbraith was employed as a project manager with a firm on a business development in West Lothian when he committed his crime.

He'd claimed the money was an 'incentivised bonus' which would see him receive over £750,000 if he could get a construction phase of the development 'up and running' earlier than planned.