South East Wales

Dianne Spragg jailed for stealing £79k from legal clients

Dianne Spragg Image copyright South Wales Police

A legal secretary who stole nearly £79,000 from vulnerable clients and spent it on shopping sprees has been jailed for two and a half years.

Dianne Spragg, 48, of Caerphilly, forged 65 cheques from "mentally incapacitated" customers at Cardiff law firm Geldards.

Cardiff Crown Court heard she spent the money on shoes, clothes and furniture.

Spragg admitted charges of fraud and possessing criminal property.

'Breach of trust'

Tony Trigg, prosecuting, told the court she targeted the accounts of injured and mentally incapacitated clients after she "developed the habit of shopping online for more than she could afford".

"She said she stole to ensure she never went without anything she fancied buying," he added.

One man, 76, who had a mental disorder, had £11,102 taken, while a scaffolder, who had suffered a serious head injury at work lost £37,945.

The court was also told she also took money she had collected on behalf of cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Adam Sharp, defending, said Spragg felt an overwhelming sense of shame over her actions.

Sentencing her, Judge Tom Crowther QC said: "This was a gross breach of trust. You depleted the accounts of people who, through age, accident or injury were unable to administer their own affairs.

"This money was not being used to feed hungry children but to see you never had to deny yourself anything you wanted."

All Spragg's victims have been reimbursed by her law firm.

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