ALAN Crickmore, the former coroner for Gloucestershire, has today been jailed for eight years for theft and fraud offences totalling nearly £2million.

Crickmore, 57, of East Approach Drive in Cheltenham, who admitted to 16 charges of theft, seven charges of fraud by abuse of position and one count of fraud, was sentenced earlier today at Southwark Crown Court.

It was heard that over a six year period Crickmore stole £1,985,097 and spent £398,800 on his credit card alone.

He splashed out on £35,527 on luxury holidays, which included exotic cruises around the Mediteranean, where he would often pay more on board the ship than he did to get on it.

Crickmore also bought his client's grieving families presents from his extravagant holidays to "show off" his wealth and maintain a high-standing in society.

Police arrested Crickmore on January 13, 2011 with officers raiding his property in Cheltenham and holiday home in Norfolk as well as his office and car.

They uncovered a vast collection of files and a number of victims whose trust funds had been devastated by Crickmore's obsessive stealing.

Detective Chief Inspector David Sellwood said: "Some of his victims, a number of whom considered him a personal friend, were vulnerable people who had put their full trust in him. He let them down and left their families devastated by his betrayal of their loved-ones trust over many years.

"He spent his ill-gotten gains leading a life of luxury that the vast majority of people can’t afford. Spending thousands of pounds on fine dining and holidays.

"To add insult to injury his offending continued, even when the Solicitors Regulation Authority began their investigation and throughout our interviews with him he never showed any remorse.

“We will be looking to seize his assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure that he can no longer benefit from his crimes.”