A scrap metal dealer who kept more than £200,000 worth of VAT charges instead of paying it to HMRC has been jailed.

Russell Goodenough, 48, set up T'ir Trading Ltd at his former home address in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, in December 2010.

The company bought and sold scrap metal and was registered for VAT.

Fraud investigators discovered that Goodenough, now of Auchterarder, Perthshire, imported tonnes of scrap metal from Europe which he sold on to customers in the UK charging VAT.

In total, he kept £205,600 in charges for himself and was eventually detained by HMRC officers, interviewed under caution and charged with the fraudulent evasion of VAT.

Goodenough initially pleaded guilty to the offence at a hearing in December last year, and on Monday was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

The offences took place between July 21 and October 17, 2011.

Cheryl Burr, assistant director of HMRC's fraud investigation service, said: "Goodenough deliberately lied about his trade with European countries to throw us off the scent of his premeditated VAT evasion, but now he is paying the price behind bars.

"The VAT he charged should have been used to fund the public services used by us all, but Goodenough decided to pocket the lot.

"HMRC will continue to pursue criminals who attack the tax system and we ask anyone with information about suspected VAT fraud to report it to HMRC online or call our fraud hotline on 0800 788 887."