Abergwyngregyn solicitor jailed for pocketing wills
A former solicitor has been jailed for four years and two months after admitting changing clients' wills to pocket cash and cover his tracks.
Peter Charles Davies, 62, from Abergwyngregyn, near Bangor, Gwynedd, cost them £241,000 combined, Mold Crown Court was told.
Davies admitted seven charges including fraud and forgery between 2010 and 2016.
Judge Rhys Rowlands said it was a "quite shocking breach of trust".
The court heard Davies failed to tell the bank that retired headmaster Albert Alun Williams had died and, as he had power of attorney over his affairs, was able to take cash out of his account - sometimes £300 daily.
The defendant changed the will and made himself sole executor.
And when he needed £100,000 to pay off beneficiaries who complained they had not received anything, Davies changed the wills of Gladys May Mosley and Emily Phillips Jones to enable him to do so.
Davies, who has been struck off as an assistant solicitor, admitted three fraud charges, two counts of forgery, concealing criminal property and using a false instrument by submitting a forged will to a probate registry.
Police analysis showed the defendant had stolen £169,275 from Mr Williams's estate - the first theft was £1,920 two days before he died, the court heard.
Prosecuting barrister Matthew Dunford said Davies had abused his position to effectively steal almost £250,000 which he appeared to spend on himself and his family.
Barrister John Wyn Williams, mitigating for Davies, said his client had asked him to publicly apologise to the families affected, and his colleagues.
The defence argued he had amassed debts but that there was no extravagant lifestyle.
A total of £44,000 has since been repaid, the court heard.
An investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act will take place.