A North Yorkshire solicitor who fleeced elderly clients of more than £500,000 was jailed for four years last Friday.

Teesside Crown Court heard that two of Giles Scott’s four victims, over whom he had power of attorney, have since died.

Scott (pictured), 63, a former partner at Langleys in York, admitted five counts of fraud, six counts of theft and seven counts of transferring criminal property.

Scott’s wife Clare, who fraudulently abused her position as a carer to one of the victims - a 78-year-old retired vicar - was jailed for a year.

The court heard that the pair were considered pillars of the community in the village of Stearsby, where they lived. Their offending dated from 2009 until Giles Scott’s arrest last November.

Philip Standfast, for the prosecution, said although some money was returned, the net loss to the four victims was some £342,000.

Giles Scott had ‘grossly abused’ his position of trust with his employer, transferring large sums from his victims’ bank accounts to his own or a joint account after targeting them on the basis of their vulnerability.

James Bourne-Arton, for Giles Scott, said the offences occurred at a time when Scott had got into serious financial difficulties.

‘He is a man not just of no previous convictions, but of positive good character,’ he said. ‘His plea clearly reflects his great shame and remorse. He cannot forgive himself because of the effect on the victims and his wife.’

Judge Peter Armstrong said Scott’s desperation was shown by £20 he had taken from one of the victims even after he was dismissed from his job.

‘People should be able to trust their high street solicitor with their money,’ the judge said.

Langleys expects to repay the stolen cash, subject to a successful insurance claim.