The Solicitor from Worcester in the UK stole £13,000 of his law firm clients’ money and was convicted to spend 20 months behind bars.
The 50 year old Solicitor pleaded guilty to a series of four offences regarding fraud and theft charges. The Judge characterised his crimes as a “grave breach of trust”.
Worcester Crown Court heard that Gaynor-Smith, Owen & Co, where the offender was head of the private client department, anticipated losses of up to £50,000 in turnover due to having to repay clients and for the amount of work needed to carry out an audit of his work.
The Solicitor in question has been previously convicted for fraud charges back in 1994, a period he when he was not a practicing Solicitor. It was made known that his latest offences occurred after falling into debt, after building a conservatory and a third bedroom extension to his home.
“It is difficult to imagine a position that commands greater respect than that of a family solicitor. It’s important to be trusted…”
– Judge Rundell
In a victim statement to the court, Mr Gaynor-Smith stated that the real loss of what the offender had committed was the damage to the firm’s 40-year reputation. Mr Gaynor-Smith added that he felt “betrayed and angry” by the breach of trust and he now had to face “angry and upset” clients.
The Judge told the Solicitor that he would serve half his prison sentence and spend the rest out of license.