A crooked cemetery manager who pocketed thousands of pounds by selling forged burial deeds to bereaved families was jailed yesterday. 

William "Willie" Henderson, 45, was sentenced to 16-months in prison following a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. 

He had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of "fraudulent scheme" in relation to his employment at Mount Vernon cemetery in Liberton, Edinburgh. 

His criminal activities typically involved him identifying and selling space in the cemetery to use for burials, for example unused space under access paths. 

It affected 13 individuals and took place between 2006 and 2015. 

Between 1997 and 2015, Henderson was employed at the cemetery. 

From 2006 onwards he was responsible for the fraudulent creation of burial deeds and obtaining funds for these deeds . 

In addition to the creation of false burial deeds, Henderson also oversaw the 'overburial' of two individuals where families were sold plots believing these to be fresh graves. 

But they were unmarked graves that were already occupied. 

In total, Henderson was able to obtain thousands of pounds in profit. 

The offences were brought to the attention of Police Scotland by the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh who are thought to have lost thousands of pounds. 

Following an investigation by Edinburgh's CID, Henderson was charged in November 2016. 

Speaking following sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Grainger yesterday said: "William Henderson successfully obtained large sums of money from people mourning the death of loved ones and looking to have them buried within Mount Vernon Cemetery. 

"At no point during our inquiries did Henderson show any remorse for his actions, or the impact his deception will have had on his victims. 

"We took a sensitive and professional approach when interviewing those affected and are extremely grateful to everyone who assisted with our inquiries, particularly when they had to relive some painful memories in the process. 

"I would again like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all the families who supported our investigation, as well as the staff at the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, who worked really hard to help with our inquiries. 

"It is my hope that this sentence now brings a sense of closure around this matter."