A unqualified accountant from Cheshire who stole £294,428 from The Charlatans pop group had his five-year prison sentence upheld by the Criminal Appeal Court in London last week. Trevor Williams, 54, of Lewin Street, Middlewich, was jailed on June 2 at Chester Crown Court after admitting three thefts and one offence of fraudulent trading for which he received concurrent five-year terms. He asked for 15 offences to be taken into consideration. Mr Justice Latham, sitting with Mr. Justice Johnson, announced in the Appeal Court: 'There can be nothing wrong in principle with this sentence nor is it manifestly excessive. 'Dishonesty lasted over a long period, it did not merely affect one loser but a significant number and they included people of modest means who had entrusted their money to him and have lost as a result. 'He admitted systematic theft over about eight years and the total identified as having been lost by victims was more than £363,000.' The judge said Williams was an unqualified accountant who advised clients on tax and financial affairs and held money on their behalf for investment. His business ran into financial difficulties in the late 1980s and to keep it afloat he started in effect to take clients' money. He stole a total £294,428 from The Charlatans pop group, whose latest album Us and Us Only, was released last month. From another client Williams stole £56,000 out of what was expected to be an investment portfolio worth £79,000. And he also took £12,700 from a 69 year-old man who gave him his savings for investment in a building society or other safe place.
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