A CROOKED solicitor who plundered his elderly clients’ accounts of more than £500,000 has been ordered to pay back £342,000 – all of his available assets.

Giles Scott – serving four years for fraud and theft – will have two-and-a-half years added to his sentence unless the bill is paid within three months.

His wife, Clare, involved in laundering some of the ill-gotten gains, was jailed for a year, but is now out.

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The 63-year-old laughed incredulously during a trial last October when questioned about her husband’s lavish spending and huge credit card bills.

She claimed to have had no idea about his sacking from his job as a senior partner at the Langleys practice, in York, until three months after it happened.

The couple were thought to be pillars of the community where they lived in Stearsby, near Thirsk, the court was told.

But Giles Scott “grossly abused” his position of trust, transferring large amounts of cash from his victims’ bank accounts to his own or to a joint account.

Prosecutor Philip Standfast said the 64-year-old targeted them on the basis of their vulnerability, and carried out his crimes over a six-year period.

Two of his victims – over whom he had power of attorney over – have since died, and included a 78-year-old retired vicar who was also defrauded by Scott’s carer wife.

Mr Standfast said that although some money was returned, the net loss to the four victims stood at £342,000 – which is the amount Scott is having to repay.

The daughter of the former Anglican priest, who lives in Easingwold, described how her mother’s health had declined rapidly and that she has since been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

She also said at the time, Scott’s offending, which left her £108,000 in the red, meant she could no longer afford to live in her two-bedroom flat.

The niece of another victim, aged 100, said: “If she had the capacity to realise what had happened she would be absolutely devastated.”

Clare Scott, who did the vicar’s shopping, cooked her meals and also took her to appointments, overcharged her for car journeys and also laundered money through her own account to pay for a flat for her daughter and a VW Tiguan.

The couple’s offending stretched from 2009 up until Giles Scott’s arrest in November 2015.

At the sentencing hearing a year ago, James Bourne-Arton, for Giles Scott, said he faced mounting debts and during a period of depression he began taking out credit cards to pay for them.

Alastair Campbell, for Clare Scott – found guilty after a trial of fraudulently abusing her position as a carer and two counts of transferring criminal property, charges she denied – said her role had been peripheral .

He said she offered genuine friendship and care to the retired vicar and felt “exploited and manipulated” by her husband.

Judge Peter Armstrong said the crimes had a serious detrimental effect and, told Giles Scott: “People should be able to trust their high street solicitor with their money.”

The judge said Clare Scott, now of Otley, West Yorkshire, apparently estranged from her husband, showed no remorse.

Scott, who appeared from Kirklevington Prison, an open jail near Yarm, accepted the findings. His wife was not required to appear in court for the hearing.