A FORMER church pastor who was convicted of fraud is still on the run after failing to turn up to his court sentencing last month.

Bruce Scott, aged 51, of Overdales, Hazlemere, was due to appear at Reading Crown Court for sentencing on January 16.

He was convicted of 10 counts of fraud and deception after being found guilty by a jury after a six week trial.

His wife, Belinda Scott, aged 43, was convicted of one count of fraud by false representation. She appeared at Reading Crown Court on 16 January and was sentenced to a conditional discharge for one year.

Det Supt David Poole, of the TVP Economic Crime Unit, said: “Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit has conducted a thorough investigation leading to convictions of Mr and Mrs Scott, after a trial.

"A significant breach of trust has led to large sums being stolen from members of our community, which is unacceptable.

“Mr Scott has now absconded before his sentencing and I appeal for any information which could lead to his location so that he can be arrested and brought to justice.”

Between 1998 and 2012, the victims, from all aspects of the Scotts’ business and private lives were duped in to parting with substantial sums of money.

Despite entering into either agreements or arrangements to pay instalments, fees or rent, the Scotts’ either never did so, or found spurious reasons or delaying tactics with which to put off or forgo making any payments.

Officers are currently attempting to locate Mr Scott, who is not believed to be dangerous, and are appealing for anyone with any information about his whereabouts to contact police.

Mr Scott is described as white, approximately 6ft tall, of large build, with greying hair and he wears glasses.

He is a South African national who has links to High Wycombe, and to South Bucks, where he was a pastor at the Covenant Church of the Cross, a small church based in Farnham Common.

If you have any information about Mr Scott’s whereabouts please contact Det Con James Deans from the Economic Crime Unit on the non-emergency enquiry centre number 101.

If you don't want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.