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A judge has criticised the Law Society for letting a crooked solicitor continue to practise, leading to three charities being swindled out of nearly £100,000.
Harvard Rose, 60, of Stradella Road, London, appeared at Southwark Crown Court last week, pleading guilty to three charges of theft. He had already been struck off and jailed for two years after twice stealing money from his clients, but had been returned to the roll after his sentence.
Judge Peter Jackson, jailing Rose for four years, said: "Why you were reinstated to the Solicitors' Roll is a mystery."
In his latest crime, Rose used money left to three charities in a will for his own gain while working at London firm Maurice Hudgell & Co. Rose is now struck off again.
He was disciplined by the society for unauthorised use of client funds in 1973 and 1974 and was jailed for two years at the Old Bailey. But he went back on the roll in June 1983. By 1986 he was a partner in Maurice Hudgell.
"The shame you and those like you bring on the profession is incalculable," said Jackson.