A SOLICITOR who plundered £370,000 of clients’ money to prop up his ailing firm has been thrown out of the profession.

Raymond Ridley, 58, dipped into the cash for business and ‘personal’ expenses for more than six years, the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal heard.

Clients who thought their mortgages on their properties had been paid off as they moved home were shocked to find the cash had vanished.

Ridley, right, had run Ridley’s Solicitors, based in Corn Street, Witney, for 20 years and dealt with thousands of Oxfordshire clients.

The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority has paid out £825,605 from its compensation fund to 23 of Ridley’s clients.

Carterton couple Rosie and Terry Buckland, who lost £231,000, welcomed the tribunal’s decision and now hope to see criminal action against Ridley.

Mrs Buckland, 52, said: “It is fantastic that he has been struck off. It is exactly what we wanted to happen.

“But my husband and I are still angry about what he did and the fact his life has not really been affected and he has not had to pay us back.

“We want to see him in court."