A barrister who escaped prison after attempting to smuggle more than a tonne of shisha tobacco into the UK has been disbarred. Mohammed Shafee Shaikh was disbarred following an independent disciplinary tribunal hearing yesterday.

The tribunal’s decision follows Shaikh’s conviction at Ipswich Crown Court in April last year.

Shaikh was arrested in December 2013, after tobacco was found in a lorry at the port of Felixstowe in Suffolk. The load was headed for an address in Essex, where Shaikh was apprehended and the shisha seized.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, as well as being ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Sara Jagger, director of professional conduct at the Bar Standards Board, said: ‘Dishonesty is incompatible with membership of the bar. The tribunal’s decision to disbar Shaikh reflects this.’

Although Shaikh was called to the bar in 2013 he never practised as a barrister and was a director of Shaikh & Sons Limited in Hatton Garden, London.

The tribunal’s decision is subject to appeal.