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Last Updated: Friday, 3 June, 2005, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
Bigamous lawyer stole from client
A bigamous solicitor has been jailed for six months for stealing thousands of pounds from a dead client's account to pay for her marriage.

Marylena Shuti, 29, wrote cheques for 6,000 and 2,000 from the estate of Clifford Parkinson, and paid them into her account, Luton Crown Court heard.

The first amount was taken while working for a Stevenage law practice and was used to pay for her wedding.

Mr Parkinson's bank stopped the second cheque before it could be cashed.

Life in tatters

Prosecutor Alan Landsbury said Shuti got married on 5 December last year at Stevenage Register Office but her previous marriage to a man called Thomas Brickhill had not been dissolved.

Shuti worked in the wills and probate department at Howe, Roche and Waller in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, and had access to the cash.

The court heard Shuti had also lied when she got the job by saying she had received a settlement for unfair dismissal from a previous employer.

Shuti, of Sunnyside Road, north London, pleaded guilty to theft, attempting to obtain 2,000, obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception and bigamy.

Defence barrister Imran Mahmood said her life was "now in tatters" and she would be struck off as a solicitor.

The judge, Recorder Anthony Coleman, jailed her for six months and described her case as a "complete tragedy".

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