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“Devious” office manager ordered to hand back ill-gotten gains of £58k

Carlisle Crown Court

[A] DISGRACED office manager jailed for stealing £412,000 from a small law firm has been ordered to hand over ill-gotten gains totalling almost £60,000.

David Clattenburg systematically abused his position at Singleton Winn Saunders’ office in Byker, Newcastle, over the course of a decade.

Through his role, 45-year-old Clattenburg was trusted to look after the law firm’s books and pay bills. But instead he made unauthorised cash withdrawals and cheque payments to fund his lifestyle. A series of bank transfers netted him £260,000 alone.

Clattenburg stole in excess of £412,000, and was jailed for four years at Carlisle Crown Court in October for criminal behaviour his own lawyer accepted was “devious”, “disgraceful and dishonest”. He had admitted charges of theft of money, between July 2005 and January 2007, and fraud by abuse of position between January 2007 and March 2015.

Police investigators set about trying to claw back cash from Clattenburg, latterly of Tavern Close, Cramlington.

In his absence today (FRI), an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act was made at the crown court.

During a short hearing, it was confirmed Clattenburg had benefited from his crimes to the tune of £412,456.93. The available assets were agreed to be £58,146.43 which, Judge Barbara Forrester ordered, must be handed over within 28 days or Clattenburg faces two years’ imprisonment in default.

Judge Forrester ruled the money should be paid as compensation to four named joint partners of the affected law firm from which Clattenburg was subsequently sacked following a misconduct hearing.

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