A struck-off solicitor has been jailed for two years and eight months after admitting to stealing more than £55,000 from clients.

Margaret Barton last month admitted to four charges of theft between 2014 and 2016. She was sentenced to 32 months at Bolton Crown Court yesterday.

The 58-year-old conveyancing specialist was banned from the profession in 2002 after being found guilty of obtaining money by deception in a separate case, the court heard.

However, despite this she went on to process three probate applications and a divorce settlement for residents in her town of Hindley, Greater Manchester, even though she was no longer a solicitor.

The court heard that ‘high-value’ amounts changed hands.

Between July 2014 and June 2016 Barton stole a total of £56,000 from four different women.

She pleaded guilty last month at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.