A south Essex accountant who defrauded X Factor winner James Arthur of almost £600,000 has been discredited from the profession - and ordered to pay £7,750.

Mark Livermore was jailed for four years in January after being convicted of fraud he had carried out to fund a gambling habit.

Livermore, 39, faced disciplinary proceedings by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and has been discredited and excluded from the profession.

At a hearing, late last week, the disciplinary committee ordered that Livermore be excluded from the ACCA membership after his conviction.

The committee also ordered him to pay £7,750 in costs to the ACCA.

Livermore was a long-term employee of Mr Arthur’s company Raff Music Ltd.

He transferred funds from the company into other bank accounts without the knowledge or permission of Mr Arthur, the court heard.

Mr Arthur, 30, had hired the qualified chartered accountant’s firm to handle his financial affairs after winning the talent show in 2012 and becoming a chart-topping success.

The fraud emerged in April last year during an audit by Livermore’s business partner.

He found £599,000 had been taken from Mr Arthur’s Coutts bank account over the period of a year.

Livermore had repeatedly raided the singer’s account to pay for spread betting.

The accountant, who lives in Second Avenue, Billericay, admitted fraud by abuse of position at the City of London Magistrates’ Court on December 18 last year.

The court heard the elaborate and extensive fraud involved “a significant degree of planning” and was “carried out over a long period of time”.

In January of this year, Livermore was jailed for four years at Southwark Crown Court.

His exclusion from the ACCA is subject to appeal.

Middlesbrough-born Mr Arthur is the sole officer of Raff Music Limited, which he set up in 2013 after winning The X Factor.

The 30-year-old took top spot in the talent show just before Christmas in 2012.

He has had top ten hits including Impossible and You’re Nobody til Somebody Loves You.

He is estimated to have a net worth of £3.9million according to Celebrity Net Worth online.