Shamed Northumberland solicitor Frances Brough in court over fraud

Northumberland solicitor Frances Brough, who attacked her own parents, could face jail after fleecing Law Society of £22,000

Former solicitor Frances Louise Brough
Former solicitor Frances Louise Brough

A personal injury lawyer who attacked her own parents has been back in court for fleecing the Law Society out of more than £22,000 in bogus travel expenses.

Frances Brough, 40, was recently locked up for six months after she spat in the faces of father Francis, 82, and mother Ann, 74, during a heated argument about their will.

Brough also has a conviction for sinking her teeth into 61-year-old Linda Boyd after another row in December 2011.

She then told police at the scene that she would “hunt them down” and “destroy them”.

Brough, who has been suspended as a Law Society Council representative for the North East of England, bared her teeth at officers after being arrested during the drunken fight with her parents in August.

She told her mother she smelled and was incontinent, before spitting at her six times, a court heard.

Her father, who had just returned from hospital, said of the attack: “She spat violently in my face and said she wished I was dead. I just felt like collapsing.”

Brough also hurled abuse at her terminally-ill neighbour, Mandy Rutherford, telling her “here comes the dying one”, before assaulting her and her husband, David, and threatening to damage their property. She was also convicted in her absence of assaulting a police officer in yet another incident on March 23 this year.

Brough made a string of fraudulent claims for rail travel, accommodation and care allowance costs totalling £22,847 between January 27, 2009, and July 20, 2011.

She was exposed after the Law Society, which represents solicitors in England and Wales, launched an investigation into expenses irregularities, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Usha Shergill said the fraud was an “appalling breach of trust”.

Brough originally denied nine counts of fraud and had been due to stand trial this week.

But she admitted a single fraud charge reflecting her overall criminality and the remaining counts were dropped.

Wearing a long black dress and stilettos with her blonde hair down, Brough showed no emotion as she entered her guilty plea. Adjourning sentence for reports, Judge John Price warned “all options were open”.

Anne Stevens, defending Brough, said: “The offending occurred in very sad circumstances that need to be fully ventilated”.

Brough, of North Side, Shilbottle, Alnwick, Northumberland, will be sentenced on January 24.

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