Victorian lawyer jailed for ‘abhorrent’ $420k theft from clients

A former named principal of a Victorian law firm has been imprisoned for stealing $400,000 from the estates of two clients.

Kevin Roache, 82, the former director and principal lawyer of Coulter Roache Legal — now known only as Coulter Legal — will spend at least a year behind bars for the “abhorrent” theft from the estates of two deceased clients between April 2018 and October 2019.

In handing down a total sentence of 28 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 months, County Court of Victoria’s Chief Judge Peter Kidd said the gravity of Roache’s offending “is too great to impose anything less than a term of imprisonment”.

“You come to the court having destroyed your reputation and legacy, which you worked so hard to achieve,” Chief Judge Kidd said.

“You have entirely lost your status in the community, particularly in the legal community, which you will never regain again; such are the consequences for practitioners who breach their client’s trust.”

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