A SOLICITOR and deputy District Judge has been convicted of a string of fraud offences.

Keith Alan Shaw, 37, admitted a number of fraud offences at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday, and was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

Shaw, of Sleights, near Whitby, came to the attention of North Yorkshire Police after Scarborough Borough Council reported concerns over a planning process in November 2015.

The court heard Shaw applied for planning permission to develop land in Whitby between 2012 and 2015, and tried to influence the planning office by submitting supporting statements claiming to be from members of the public. An investigation found he was using the names and addresses of others without permission, and the content of the correspondence was fictitious.

Shaw also fraudulently claimed a refund of £2,747 in surveyor's fees when buying land in Sleights.

Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of Economic Crime and Major Fraud at North Yorkshire Police, said Shaw was "a highly qualified judge who used his enhanced knowledge of the legal system to commit crime and deceive a number of public sector organisations".

He said: "He is a narcissistic individual who thought he could use his position to defraud others for personal gain. It is important we catch professionals such as Shaw as it sends a clear message that no-one is above the law."

Shaw was also ordered to pay £2,747 in compensation, £7,285 in costs, and complete 200 hours of unpaid work.