A SERIAL charlatan who conned a grieving family after gaining access to restricted areas at a busy Scottish hospital by pretending to be a surgeon has been jailed for his "cruel lies".

Anthony Adams befriended the family of a man who died in a motorcycle accident - and concocted a series of heartbreaking stories which led to him being asked to help carry the man's coffin.

A court heard the "Walter Mitty" figure was unable to offer any explanation for the “unimaginable distress” he caused as a result of his fantasies.

The 29-year-old appeared in the dock for sentencing this week after pleading guilty last year to a charge of breaching the peace, the Ardrossan Herald reports.

Adams, of Princes Street in Ardrossan – who was previously convicted of impersonating a Celtic FC scout at youth football matches in Cumnock and Largs – managed to get hold of a staff pass, giving him access to restricted areas at Crosshouse Hospital in Ayrshire, between April 30 and May 14, 2021.

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He also admitted falsely telling a woman that her late son had become a dad before her death, gaining access to her home, family and friends, and got her to give him a role at her son’s funeral.

That offence was committed between July 3 and October 14 the same year.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard that NHS chiefs had re-examined their security measures at Crosshouse after Adams’s deception raised “significant concerns”.

The procurator fiscal depute said Adams had been an in-patient at the stoma care unit at Crosshouse on April 21 – and that while talking to patients in a smoking area he had told them:  “I’m a doctor on sick leave for six months."

The prosecutor said that on May 14, Adams had returned to the hospital in civilian clothes before going into a disabled toilet and then accessing a linen room, where he was able to get hold of blue scrubs and an NHS identification badge.

He was eventually rumbled after a stoma nurse who had previously cared for Adams encountered him and asked what he was doing, to which he replied he was working today and added “in the theatres”.

The fiscal depute continued: "She was unaware of him being an employee, and after becoming concerned she contacted the relevant department.  

"When challenged, he said he had qualifications at the University of California and had 'travelled all over the world treating patients typhoid and malaria’.”

Security staff confronted Adams and asked why he was pretending to be a doctor – and he showed them a prescription pad and insisted that he was.

Police attended the hospital and, after noting there was a warrant out for Adams’s arrest, took him to Kilmarnock police station.

He was told he would be the subject of a report to the fiscal and replied: “Okay.”

The fiscal then went on to describe how Adams had contacted the sister of the man who had died in the motorbike crash, claiming to know her brother.

The crash victim, the court heard, had died at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) after initially being taken to Crosshouse.

“On July 14,” the fiscal continued, “the accused messaged the witness enquiring about visiting her mother's home. It was agreed and he attended. 

"The witness still did not recognise the accused who said he had stayed at the house before. The witness felt this was strange but gave him the benefit of the doubt.

"He talked about [her brother’s] treatment and said he should have been transferred to the QEUH earlier.

"He later said he was a doctor and could prescribe her sleeping medication which she declined – she thought this was a bit strange to offered in this manner.

"He asked if she could request his medical records so he could look over them.

"The accused went outside for a smoke and told the witness her brother’s last words were 'please don't let me die' and that he was 'going to be a dad again'.

“This made her upset and she informed her mother."

Adams later claimed that he'd raised £1000 from his family, friends and colleagues to give to the man's loved ones – but the cash never materialised.

Adams, the court heard, was asked to be a pall-bearer at the crash victim’s funeral, and then claimed to be setting up a memorial bench at the beach at Ardrossan.

He told the family he’d had a memorial canvas created, but “this was never seen”.

The fiscal depute added: "After becoming suspicious, they searched for his name on Google. They read on a news website about him pretending to be a Celtic scout and stealing money. 

“They felt alarmed, having welcomed him into their home and taken him at face value.

"They contacted Adams's brother asking about the accused, who said he knew nothing.

"They contacted the accused by text message, who did reply, apologising, but left the complainers angry and distraught.”

Sentencing on Adams had been deferred for a psychiatric report, but defence solicitor Sandy Currie said that report did not make the situation a great deal clearer.

“It appears to me, entering the area of amateur psychology, to be some kind of grandiose scheme in his head,” Currie continued.

"He certainly has great knowledge of medical matters. Over a period he was gravely ill. He seems to have become enthralled with the whole medical situation, learned about it, then sort of deluded himself he can insinuate himself into situations."

Asked by Sheriff Laura Mundell how Adams could explain getting hold of NHS scrubs and an ID pass, Currie said: “I seriously wish I could give an explanation."

Turning to Adams’s deceit of the crash victim’s family, Currie said his client did know the man, but that he “greatly exaggerated his position to the family”.

When Sheriff Mundell asked what on earth would motivate such a “cruel lie”, Mr Currie said: "I cannot do anything other than guess. There's a theme here; he wanted to be more important than he is.”

Sheriff Mundell told Adams: “This was a catalogue of serious, fraudulent offending for a prolonged period and with no explanation.

“The alarm and distress you caused to the family is unimaginable. There can be no appropriate sentence other than a period of imprisonment.”

Adams was jailed for six months, reduced from eight because of his plea of guilty.