Walker Morris litigation executive convicted of defrauding firm of £11,000

A former Walker Morris litigation executive has been sentenced to a nine-month suspended jail term after she stole more than £11,000 from the firm.

A former Walker Morris litigation executive has been sentenced to a nine-month suspended jail term after she stole more than £11,000 from the firm.

Lynne Morley, 39, who worked as a litigation executive at the Leeds-based firm, pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud at Leeds Crown Court.

According to a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Morley stole the money to fund the lifestyle of her abusive boyfriend who claimed to be a professional snowboarder.

The court heard that Morley’s new partner told her he was earning money working abroad but in reality he had no job and instead withdrew thousands of pounds from her bank account after she allowed him to take control of her finances.

Mitigator David Taylor said Morley became so desperate for money that she resorted to defrauding Walker Morris.

Prosecutor John Bull said Morley’s role at the law firm involved dealing with personal injury claims, handling cheques and splitting sums of money between different parties.

She was made the subject of an investigation in March 2009 after the law firm discovered payments had been made to people who had no involvement in some of its cases.

Recipients of the cheques included three of Morley’s friends and her nephew. She told them she had banking problems and asked them to deposit the cheques into their own accounts and then transfer the money to her account.

Morley was arrested in May 2010 and told police officers she had got herself into financial difficulties and was struggling to keep up her mortgage payments.

Judge James Spencer gave Morley a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered her to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

He told her: “You were employed in a trusted position dealing with money on behalf of your employer and it seems clear to me that because of your precarious financial situation you succumbed to temptation.”

A Walker Morris spokesperson said in a statement: “We can confirm that Lynn Morley was an employee at Walker Morris who was dismissed on grounds of dishonesty in 2009. No clients suffered financial loss as a result.”