Leeds & West Yorkshire

Manchester lawyer faces prison for cash theft

A leading barrister has been told he faces a lengthy prison sentence after he admitted stealing £81,500 from his own chambers.

Manchester-based David Friesner, 46, admitted theft when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court for the start of his trial.

He denied a further count of stealing money from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Friesner was given unconditional bail. He will be sentenced on 10 February.

The court heard Friesner was the deputy head of the 9 St John Street Chambers in Manchester when he left in 2009 following the allegations.

'Substantial time'

He had been at the chambers for more than 14 years and was well known for his work in serious criminal cases at the city's two crown courts, especially as a prosecutor.

One of his areas of expertise was fraud and money laundering and he prosecuted a number of high profile fraud cases in the North West.

The judge, Mr Justice Singh, said: "You, I know, will have no doubt about the likely sentence in this case.

"In the circumstances of this case, and having regard to relevant guidelines, a sentence of immediate imprisonment is the likely sentence in your case.

"It's likely to be a substantial period of time."

Friesner denied stealing £13,453.75 from the Crown Prosecution Service and his not guilty plea was accepted by the prosecution.