A SOLICITOR who stole u66,000 from the accounts of deceased clients to pay his grandmother's nursing home bills and to finance his life-style was jailed for two years.
Liverpool Crown Court heard last week how Paul Edwards was caught out by his former bosses after stealing u8,500, which he repaid by taking from another firm he had later joined.
Jailing him, Judge David Clarke said: "What you did was a disgrace to yourself, your profession, the well-known firm in this city which employed you and to your parents who took great pride in your professional achievements
"You started this series of thefts because of a shortage of funds to meet the commitment for your grandmother's care. A laudable object for needing it - a deplorable method for getting it."
Edwards, of West Derby, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to four theft offences and asked for 55 others to be taken into consideration.
Paul O'Brien, prosecuting, said the offences spanned two and a half years and involved the accounts of six deceased clients.
He was employed by Liverpool-based Yaffe Jackson Ostrin from April 1991 to June 1992.
After joining Deacon Goldrein Green, also in Liverpool, his former bosses discovered he had withdrawn sums totalling u8,000 from an account. More money was later discovered missing.
Some of it was spent on the weekly u315 fees for his grandmother's nursing home and on a u1,300 foreign holiday for him and his girlfriend, said O'Brien.
The court heard how Edwards promised to repay this so that the police would not need to be informed but did so by stealing from his new firm.
His defence counsel Jack Cowan said Edwards was young and relatively inexperienced. "It is beyond his understanding what has happened to that money," he said.