A respected family solicitor who swindled a fortune from elderly clients and spent it on antiques, sex chat lines and prostitutes has been jailed for four years.
Andrew Taylor, 58, plundered more than £600,000 from the accounts of 13 pensioners whose affairs he was looking after, many of whom were in care homes or had dementia.
He then “frittered away” the cash on antique pens, pottery and cricket memorabilia as well as sex chat lines and escorts leaving one victim unable to pay her for funeral.
His offending began shortly after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2010.The court was told drugs he had been prescribed caused ‘compulsive’ behaviour and that Taylor became obsessed with sex and shopping.However the judge Peter Openshaw dismissed claims the medication meant Taylor was not in control of his actions.In sentencing the solicitor to four years in jail, the judge told him: “The money is all gone – squandered on sexual excesses and frittered away on absurd extravagancies. “It is highly likely that the compulsive, extravagant, behaviour was triggered by the drugs you were taking."However, on proper analysis, that’s no real mitigation.
"You were still a practising solicitor and were carrying out other areas of your work competently.“There were people you could have sought help from.” Taylor, who had set up his firm Andrew J Taylor Solicitors in 1990, had power of attorney over all but one of his 13 elderly victims.And in a period of two years and two months, he repeatedly transferred cash from their account into his as well writing cheques to himself.He stole a staggering £400,000 from an 86 year-old dementia sufferer who required round-the-clock care, the court was told.In another case, Taylor stole £2,780 from an 87 year-old who, when she died in August 2013, did not have enough money for funeral costs, meaning the council had to pay for her burial.Taylor was eventually arrested in July 2013 after police and the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority raided his offices on Wilmslow Road.