A former wills and probate solicitor who sat as a tribunal judge has been jailed after being found guilty of forging a will in order to get her hands on two properties.
Margaret Hampshire, 69, and her 67-year-old husband Alan pleaded guilty to forging the will of their cousin Martin Blanche so that two properties in his home town of Rolleston, Nottinghamshire, would be transferred to them.
Both were sentenced to six months in prison following a sentencing hearing at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday.
The will stated that Blanche’s estate should be left to Josephine Burroughs, Margaret Hampshire and Blanche’s cousin, for whom Hampshire held power of attorney.
Hampshire then forged a letter which said Burroughs was happy to transfer the properties to the Hampshires’ daughter.
Hampshire, who worked in the social entitlement chamber of the First Tier Tribunal at the time of the forgery, made a false statement under oath that the will was a true and original document.
Separately, Alan Hampshire also admitted to stealing more than £23,000 from Burroughs during 2012.
According to Nottinghamshire Police, the money was used to pay for renovation works to houses which the Hampshires converted into one cottage.
The Hampshires were arrested in September 2014 and had denied the offences until the early stages of the trial.
Burroughs died on 22 January 2014 before the police investigation started. According to police, there was no evidence that she knew of the fraud.