THE serial Ayrshire charlatan who was jailed after gaining access to Crosshouse Hospital while pretending to be a surgeon has been raising alarm bells among Ayrshire residents for years.

We told how Anthony Adams had been jailed after he faked his way into Ayrshire’s largest hospital over a two-week period in the spring of 2021.

The ‘Walter Mitty’ figure later befriended the mum and sister of a man who had died after a motorcycle accident.

He spun them a web of lies that included false claims he’d heard the man say his last words, and that he’d raised £1,000 from friends and colleagues to give to the man’s grieving family – money that never materialised.

The 29-year-old also claimed he'd organised a memorial bench for the crash victim on the Ardrossan seafront - something which, again, never materialised.

The family became suspicious after searching for Adams’ name online – and discovered that he had a previous conviction for disorderly conduct by pretending to be a scout for Celtic FC.

Less than two years before the Crosshouse incident Adams – who is also known as Anthony Brennan – had been caught lying to youth football coaches in Cumnock and Largs.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

At a football festival at Cumnock Juniors’ Townhead Park ground on June 8, 2019, and at the Bowencraig Recreation Ground in Largs 11 days later, Adams had used a fake ID he’d bought on the internet in his bid to pull the wool over the eyes of club coaches.

He appeared in court in July 2022 to plead guilty to disorderly conduct in relation to the Cumnock and Largs incidents.

That court hearing was told Adams had approached the manager of Largs Colts’ 2010 team while displaying false ID, saying that he was a Celtic scout and that he was interested in four of the team’s players.

But when he said he would like to attend further training sessions, that set off alarm bells among the club’s coaching staff.

Three months later Adams, of Princes Street in Ardrossan, was back in court to be sentenced – but after his lawyer told a judge that Adams, who was then aged 27, was not fit to do unpaid work, he was placed on a community payback order with 18 months of social work supervision and told he would “have to be honest”.

Later that same month, however, further allegations came to light in which he was accused of handling criminal property – namely £13,500 in cash – dating back to February 2020.

He is due to return to court later this year for sentencing on that matter.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Reporter Rebecca Garrett confronts Adams at his then home in Hunter Avenue, Ardrossan in December 2018Reporter Rebecca Garrett confronts Adams at his then home in Hunter Avenue, Ardrossan in December 2018 (Image: Newsquest)

In an echo of the Crosshouse Hospital incident, Adams was previously charged with stealing North Ayrshire Council ID badges and clothing after pretending to be a member of the council’s staff and claiming he’d lost his identification.

But his pleas of not guilty to those two charges were accepted by prosecutors.

Adams had first hit the headlines the year before the Largs and Cumnock football incident.

In the autumn of 2018 angry first aiders claimed he had held open days to recruit staff for an organisation called ‘National Events Medical Services’, claiming the firm covered major sporting events, and that he’d charged hundreds of pounds for training and uniforms and hadn’t paid recruits for the shifts they did.

Christine Reid, who was then aged 17, claimed she was owed up to £500 by NEMSL.

That same month the Herald reported accusations that Adams had taken almost £200 from a local charity, the Little Box of Distractions, after it was offered a partnership with North Ayrshire Community Youth Work (NACYW) – of which Adams was a director.

Later that month Adams accused those of raising concerns about him and his behaviour of having a “personal vendetta” against him.

He told the Herald at the time that all of the allegations against him were “lies”.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Tara Drysdale told the Herald she'd been left £3,000 out of pocket in 2018 after signing a contract to work for a firm of which Anthony Adams was a directorTara Drysdale told the Herald she'd been left £3,000 out of pocket in 2018 after signing a contract to work for a firm of which Anthony Adams was a director (Image: Newsquest)

In December 2018, the Herald spoke to Tara Drysdale (above), who said she had secured a job as a peer mentor with NACYW, but had been left £3,000 out of pocket after not being paid for three months.

The Crosshouse incident first came to light in July of last year.

Adams – or Brennan, as he was referred to in court papers at the time – was not in court when the case against him first called, but court documents laid out how he was alleged to have “induced hospital staff into giving him a set of scrubs and a pass which allowed him access to staff areas” at the hospital.

He was also charged with “wifully and falsely” telling the crash victim’s mother that her son’s “medical treatment was flawed” and that he had worked at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

In October, his plea of guilty to a reduced charge of breaching the peace was accepted by the Crown.

In April of 2022 it had been reported by the Daily Record that Adams had impersonated an academic by the name of Anthony Brennan after buying an honorary doctorate online for £60.

The six-month sentence handed down at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court earlier this week means that Adams will be eligible for early release towards the end of April.