Solicitor struck off for telling client to leave UK before arrest

Topics: Criminal justice

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (47)
  • Save

Related images

  • Nick Marray

A criminal defence solicitor has been struck off after advising a client to abscond to avoid arrest.

Nicholas Marray (pictured), 52, who served a two-year jail sentence after his conviction in 2013, was stuck off in his absence at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal today.

Advertisement

The tribunal heard that Liverpool solicitor Marray told a client wanted by police in relation to drugs offences to take a ferry from Stranraer in Scotland and then onto Dublin.

The police had carried out a major operation related to suspected drug dealers in the Merseyside area, and had mistakenly thought the client was still in prison. As it was, he had been released, and Marray gave him advance notice of his pending arrest. The tribunal heard the client had ‘got as close as possible’ to escaping the country before officers managed to arrest him.

The solicitor has been described as the ‘go-to guy for some of Merseyside’s most notorious crooks’. He was caught giving the advice to leave the country on a secret bug.

Emma Priest, prosecuting on behalf of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, said Marray had moved from being a ‘guardian of justice to one of its enemies’.

‘This was a major police investigation into the scourge of class-A drugs on Merseyside. The effect was very nearly to achieve his aim [of getting away].’

Marray was convicted at Birmingham Crown Court of perverting the court of justice. In sentencing, the judge had told Marray he took extra account of his status as a solicitor and the trust placed in him by the public.

The tribunal upheld allegations that he failed to uphold the law, failed to act with integrity and failed to behave in a manner which maintains the trust of the public in the legal profession.

As well as striking him off, the tribunal ordered Marray to pay costs of £3,350.

Readers' comments (47)

  • Should have called Saul.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • He can make it legal.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What a bargain - he only had to pay £3,350 in costs for an undefended, unchallenged case! Almost makes me want to go and get myself touched up by the SDT as well.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • How did he know his client was going to be arrested?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • And what exactly is a "portent of justice" when it's at home?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Mick C - it mentions that the police thought the client was still in prison, perhaps they disclosed the planned arrest? I f they thought that he was still in prison and it was amatter of visiting him there, formally arresting him and interviewing him there would have been no reason to keep it secret, and possibly good reason to tell his solicitor as presumably he would want his brief there when he was interviewed.
    (I don't know, but it seems a reasonable guess)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • My query is why, if he was convicted and imprisoned in 2013, is he only now being struck off?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anon at 3.48 these things take time.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anon at 3.48 - presumably to allow enough time for those acting for the SDT to run up costs of £3,350.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It's not clear whether the wrong-doing was only the advice to leave the country to evade arrest or also telling client of the impending arrest. The latter must be part of a solicitor's duty to his client. If police notify a solicitor of a client's imminent arrest it must only be on the basis that the client will be informed of this.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10per page20per page50per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (47)
  • Save