Parole has been denied to a jailed former lawyer who "sometimes treats staff like receptionists" and "talks down to staff".

Gerald George McKay, a former Hawke's Bay Lawyer, was jailed last year after stealing money from his clients.

Judge Colin Doherty last year handed McKay, of former Napier firm McKay Hill, a sentence of four and a half years imprisonment.

The starting point was six years' jail, but the Judge said there was no credit for plea because McKay took the matter to trial; no credit given for remorse, because he had none; no credit for co-operating, because he had not - the matter had been strung out for some years; and no credit for reparation because he could not pay any.

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He was given a discount though for his ill health and abiding bail conditions before his trial.

McKay stole $566,900 from family trust funds and estates without his clients' authority between 2005 and 2010.

In a parole decision released today, the board found that McKay, while polite and compliant, could be demanding at times. He "exhibits some sense of entitlement" and "sometimes treats staff like receptionists and controls the discussions and talks down to staff", the parole assessment report said.

McKay had recently taken "full responsibility" for his actions, but the parole board was not satisified that his statments were genuine.

They found that his remarks were a minimisation of his offending and that his responsibility was only "vicarious".

The board decided that McKay needs treatment interventions "to deal with cognitive distortions" and "lack of insight".

Parole was not granted. McKay's next chance will come in May 2018.