A former furniture business owner has been sentenced to 28 months imprisonment after investing a family inheritance into a failing company.

Laurence Sannick, former company director and owner of Lowestoft-based Roman Furniture, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on 14 July 2016 to 28 months imprisonment after denying his four sisters their share of their late mothers £133,000 estate.

The court heard that Sannick paid one of the sisters £10,000 as an interim payment – to which the other three were unaware, while he used the majority of the money to save his failing business – which ultimately ceased trading, resulting in the loss of £78,000 from the inheritance.

According to the East Anglian Daily Times, sentencing, judge Rupert Overbury said that Sannick had ‘cynically’ abused the trust given to him as executor and that he had caused ‘enormous upset’ with his actions.

The judge stated: “When your mother died you were trusted to ensure her estate was fairly managed and shared equally. Around 75% has been frittered away in an attempt to keep your business afloat.”

Sannick was sentenced to 28 months imprisonment.