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Shamed lawyer released early from prison
01 June 2018
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A disgraced New Zealand lawyer has been granted an early release from prison after serving two years in jail.

In 2016 a New Zealand jury found lawyer Gerald McKay guilty of theft and a criminal breach of trust. He had illegally used money from client trust accounts for his own business expenses when he was co-head of the eponymous firm McKay Hill Lawyers. The court found that he had creamed off around NZD 650,000 from clients. He was sent to jail for four and a half years.

Last year, the parole board's assessment of McKay was that he was demanding and exhibited "a sense of entitlement". The report added that he treated "staff like receptionists", controlled the discussion and talked down to them. The parole board also concluded that McKay had failed to display "true contrition" or "remorse" for his crimes. He was denied parole.

There were times when he didn't talk down to the staff  

McKay appeared before the parole board again this month. This time, the board concluded that McKay had demonstrated awareness of the trigger points that caused him to do offend. His psychologist said there was a very low risk of him re-offending. The board said that because his court case attracted significant media attention, it would be "unlikely indeed" that anyone would trust Mr McKay with money in future, and granted him parole.

McKay will be released from prison next month. He will be subject to several conditions until the ending of his sentence in August 2020. The conditions forbid him from handling money or dealing with financial accounts or transactions for others, unless he has the prior written approval of a probation officer.
 

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