Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland solicitor admits defrauding clients out of £400k

Elaine Mary Early
Elaine Mary Early
Solicitor Elaine Mary Early leaves Belfast Crown Court after pleading 'guilty' to defrauding former clients of up to £400,000.
Solicitor Elaine Mary Early leaves Belfast Crown Court after pleading 'guilty' to defrauding former clients of up to £400,000.
Belfast Crown Court

By Michael Donnelly

A Co Down solicitor who pleaded guilty to defrauding her former clients of up to £400,000, was released on continuing bail on Tuesday until her sentencing next month.

As each of the 17 charges were put to Elaine Mark Early, of Killinchey Road, Comber, she replied, simply "Guilty, Your Honour".

However, one final charge of the theft of over £250,000 belonging to clients of her firm of Elaine Early Co Solicitors, was allowed "to remain on the books". 

Prosecution QC Laura Ievers said she had taken instructions and in light of Early's guilty pleas, the charge should remain on the normal terms.

Defence QC John Kearney, who asked Judge Patricia Smyth for pre-sentence reports on his client, said he hoped to also provide a psychological report on her. He added that dependant on that report, further medical reports may be sought.

Plea and sentence at Belfast Crown Court, when an application for confiscation against Early may also be made, has been fixed for November 12 next.

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