Disgraced former solicitor Peter Charles Davies has been locked up for four years and two months after a court heard how he changed a will to pocket cash - and then changed two other wills to try and cover his tracks.

Over a five year period the 62-year-old - who has already been struck off - caused an over-all loss of £241,000.

But when police interviewed him he arrogantly said that if procedures within the firm had been adhered to they would have "got on to me" years before.

Mold Crown Court heard how he even submitted a false will to the Probate Office after his employers started an internal probe.

Davies of Bryn Aber, Abergwyngregyn, near Bangor admitted seven charges involving fraud, forgery, using a false instrument and concealing criminal property between 2010 and 2016.

He failed to tell the bank that retired headmaster Albert Alun Williams had died and as he had power of attorney over his affairs was able to take cash out of his account - sometimes taking £300 daily.

The defendant changed the will and put himself down as sole executor.

When he needed £100,000 to pay off beneficiaries who complained they had not received anything he changed the wills of Gladys May Mosley and Emily Phillips Jones to enable him to do so.

His dishonest actions had a serious impact on a number of people including his former employers Elwyn Jones and Co of Bangor, now amalgamated with another company.

Davies, a former assistant solicitor, and a signatory to the company's client account, was told by Judge Rhys Rowlands that he was guilty of a breach of trust and that he had behaved in a thoroughly dishonest way for some five years.

"You held a position of responsibility and trust as a solicitor, employed by a well known and respect firm since 1993," he said.

His responsibility was mainly non-contentious work of conveyancing and probate.

For anyone to qualify as a solicitor was an achievement which brought with it certain privileges and "dare I say it certain stature in the community."

But it also brought with it as responsibility to behave with great integrity towards the court, the general public and fellow solicitors.

"Over a five year period until the Spring of 2016 you betrayed the trust placed in you by your employers and your clients whose affairs you handled," he said.

Judge Rowlands said that fortunately such behaviour by members of the legal profession was extremely rare.

But it did have an effect and caused great disquiet among those affected and to the public who could lose faith in the profession.

He said that Mr Williams died in 2010, just before that Davies had been given power of attorney over his affairs which gave him access to his cheque book and cards.

Two days before he died, the defendant made out a £1,900 cheque for himself.

"What followed was a quite shocking breach of trust," he said.

He took out large sums of money and when beneficiaries enquired why they had not been paid he altered two other wills to enable him to pay them.

Judge Rowlands said that Davies was receiving an average of £48,000 a year for five years on top of his salary.

"Quite what you did with all that money, only you know. But the overwhelming inference is that it was not expended on every day living expenses or debts. The effects on others have been profound," he said.

His former employers found his behaviour - which had a degree of sophistication - upsetting in the extreme and they feared that the firm's reputation had been tarnished by him.

The court heard that £44,000 had already been repaid by Davies.

An investigation under The Proceeds of Crime Act now takes place to see what assets can be forfeited.

Prosecuting barrister Matthew Dunford said that Davies had abusing his position of trust as a solicitor to effectively steal almost a quarter of a million pounds which he appeared to have spent on himself and his family.

He stole money from his employers' clients and from the client account, to which he was a signatory, and forged wills to enable him to do so. Davies, he said, went to "considerable lengths to cover up his dishonesty.

Defending barrister John Wyn Williams said that the defendant had effectively lost everything and appreciated that it had to be immediate imprisonment.

He had admitted his wrong-doing in May 2016, and the case had been hanging over him a very long time although it was entirely understandable because it was a complex case.

The defendant was a professional man who had lost his reputation. "He has asked me to apologise to the firm of solicitors for bringing their good name in to disrepute and to his follow colleagues. The anguish he caused must have been great.

"He has also asked me to publicly apologise to the families affected by his dishonesty," he said.

It was the defence case that he had amassed debts but that there was no extravagant life style.

He lived with his wife in modest accommodation.