A CALLOUS conman who duped investors out of more than £260,000 has failed in a bid to get out of jail.

Scowling swindler Stewart Kennedy, from Quarrier’s Village, stared down plumber Stuart Caldwell, the investor he conned and then battered with a baseball bat, as he was led down to the cells to begin his four-year sentence.

Kennedy, 52, told investors - including Maxine McFarlane, the owner of Harpers Salon in Barrhead - a franchise in his business was ‘the financial opportunity of a lifetime’.

But he used their cash to go on two trips to America and pay for his son’s £1,400-per-month flat in London.

He took £144,266.85 in cash and spent the money in outlets in London’s Camden area and the upmarket Corinthian Club in Glasgow.

He went on a Disney Cruise, visited New York, Florida, and Greece, and bought Rangers tickets.

Mr Caldwell paid £15,000 for a franchise and loaned Kennedy £18,000 for a Sky TV advertising campaign.

But Mr Caldwell never received any of his £33,000 back and, when he went to Kennedy’s home to find out what had happened, Kennedy battered him with a baseball bat.

Defiant Kennedy, who was originally jailed in January before appealing his conviction and sentence, denied all wrongdoing during his trial at Paisley Sheriff Court.

A jury convicted him of two charges of fraud over the £247,405 in franchise sales and the £18,000 loan from Caldwell, plus one of assault over the baseball bat attack.

Kennedy is being pursued by prosecutors under Proceeds of Crime laws and a hearing is due to be held later this year.