A trainee solicitor left his own career in tatters after defrauding a respected law firm of more than £100,000.

Tauseef Sadeeq, 31, stole just over £100,473 over a year-long period while working for Jacob Miller Solicitors in Bolton.

Bolton Crown Court heard how his actions had a devastating impact on the rest of the firm, which had to make eight people redundant.

Colin Buckle, prosecuting, said: “This came about first because of the losses but also to recruit two extra solicitors to help steer the firm through the crisis that the loss had created.”

Mr Buckle told the court how Sadeeq, of Cawdor Court, Farnworth, had given his own bank account details to the firm’s insurers and clients, allowing them to pay him rather than Jacob Miller’s own client account.

The Bolton News: Jacob Miller Solicitors in BoltonJacob Miller Solicitors in Bolton (Image: Newsquest)

He committed 20 separate fraudulent transactions between February 1, 2020 and March 5 the following year, after the firm had already suffered "crippling losses" due to the pandemic, according to Mr Buckle.

He said: “There was a suspicion at the time and it was checked by the office manager asking the defendant to open up his bank account so they could check the monies.”

After checking his account, Sadeeq was sent home and he ultimately confessed to the fraudulent transactions.

Sadeeq was taken to NatWest in Bolton where he repaid just over £7,000 to the firm and he was dismissed from his job.

But Mr Buckle said that his action’s further damaged his employers after his dishonesty became widely known and the firm, which had enjoyed a good reputation, struggled to attract new business.

Sadeeq had stolen from them, despite the faith placed in him.

Mr Buckle said: “The firm was pleased and proud of the fact that the defendant was their first trainee solicitor, on his way towards full qualification.”

Sadeeq was brought before the courts and pleaded guilty to all 20 counts of fraud earlier this year.

The Bolton News: The case was heard at Bolton Crown CourtThe case was heard at Bolton Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

Oliver Jarvis, defending, said that he deserved credit for having guilty and reminded the court that Sadeeq was a man of "previous good character".

He said: “I have to say that first of all, the defendant is deeply ashamed and deeply remorseful, there is no basis of plea.”

He added: “He regrets the impact that he has had on the firm and that he has thrown the career away that he has worked so hard to build.”

Mr Jarvis told the court that Sadeeq had turned to crime in order to fund his mounting gambling addiction, which he says he has since overcome, and that the fraud he committed was not "sophisticated".

He said that since then he had lost his career in law and was working as a delivery driver.

Mr Jarvis said: “It is clear to everybody that the defendant really does not have a penny to his name.”

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But the Honorary Recorder for Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh, said that Sadeeq’s actions amounted to a “considerable and gross breach of trust".

He said: “You have lost the prospects of the career that you have worked so hard for.”

He added: “This was concerted fraud, calculated in its commission by you, unsophisticated in nature but persistent.”

Judge Walsh sentenced Sadeeq to a total of two years in prison.