A paedophile lawyer has been struck off the solicitors’ roll.

Swindon solicitor Mike Pulsford was jailed for eight years and eight months in 2019 after he admitted molesting six boys and girls while he was volunteering for church group the Crusaders, now known as the Urban Saints.

But it has taken until this summer for the Wiltshire man, who worked for Chippenham firm Jeary and Lewis, to be dealt with by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The case was brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Striking him from the Roll of Solicitors, to which he had been admitted in 1980, the three-member panel said: “[Pulsford’s] convictions were as a result of repeated serious sexual offending on young people: described by the sentencing judge as a gross breach of trust.

“Public confidence in the profession and the reputation of the profession required no lesser sanction than that [Pulsford] be removed from the Roll.”

Pulsford was working as a clerk to the justices when he was admitted as a solicitor in 1980, becoming a deputy clerk to the North Wiltshire Magistrates a year later.

He was one of the first in the country to receive rights of power to be heard in a crown court, despite not actually being a barrister.

He later defended high-profile clients including a number of convicted sex offenders and, at the time, Britain’s youngest drink driver. The solicitor also represented aristocrat the Earl of Cardigan when he was cleared of assaulting a man in a row over family paintings which were being sold.

Last year, Southampton Crown Court heard from Pulsford’s victims. One questioned whether he joined the Crusaders just to get to children and told him that describing him as a man or even an animal “would be a travesty”.

Another told the court the paedophile lawyer would even read a specific chapter from the bible – entitled Love – to her while they were alone together.

The court heard the attacks happened at Crusaders camps on the Isle of Wight, as well as some at his home in Gastard.

Judge Peter Henry told Pulsford he had pretended to live by Christian values he was teaching people, but the whole time he took advantage of his position to abuse young children.

The judge said: “You were a sexual predator. Whilst it might be said in the 1970s and 80s the public were less atuned to the serious impact of sexual abuse on children, you would be acutely aware as a solicitor.”

Following the case, Det Insp Toby Elcock of Hampshire Police said: “Michael Pulsford was trusted as a youth group leader to protect the children in his charge, but instead abused this trust over and over again by indecently assaulting them.”