A convicted cowboy builder has supposedly enrolled in a plastering course from his new cell in HMP Hewell.
Scott Devlin, from Tamworth, was jailed for two years after being convicted of both theft and fraud. He took his customers for more than £43,000 before he was caught.
According to sources close to the 44 year old, he is earning £7 a week to learn the new skill.
Devlin’s former customers and associates aren’t convinced.
“It’s just not fair,” a former co-worker said. “To be honest, I think it’s farcical.
“That £7 should go straight to his victims. Apparently he’s doing fine inside. He’s met a number of fellow Aston Villa supporters and they’re getting on like a house on fire.”
One victim, however, supports his work. Devlin abandoned Laura Burford after she hired him to redo her kitchen. She, her husband and her newborn baby girl were forced to rely on a camping stove.
“It is difficult because he has personally hurt me, but I don’t think the plastering course is a bad thing. I believe in rehabilitation and he has to do something.
“Having his freedom taken away from him is punishment enough. I hope he uses the time to reflect on what he’s done.
“I don’t bear him any ill-will. I know he’s a bad ‘un, but he’s not as bad as a lot of people behind bars.”
“Education programmes are developed in partnership with the prison to offer a responsive and relevant curriculum, which includes work experience and work opportunities within the establishment,” reads the Offender Learning and Skill Service website.
“The vision at HMP Birmingham is to offer outstanding education to enable effective and purposeful resettlement for all learners on release. Using Time, not Doing Time."