A barrister has been reprimanded and fined for inappropriate drunken behaviour towards a pupil barrister at a social event.
Robert Kearney was fined £1,000 for conduct likely to ‘diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in a barrister or in the profession’.
On 10 October last year, Kearney, 'in a clearly drunken state', sat ‘uncomfortably close’ to a pupil he had never met before at an informal Bar Mess event in a restaurant, according to an outcome published by the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS). He put an arm around the pupil, ‘engaging in excessively physical and unwanted contact’.
Kearney also made 'uncomfortable, hostile and intimidating' statements. After asking the pupil his age, he also asked if the pupil had ever ‘taken a woman from behind’.
The tribunal finding is open to appeal.
Kearney was called to the bar by Inner Temple in November 1996.