Who? Tariq Khan, 44, criminal defence solicitor at Birmingham firm Kangs.
Why is he in the news? Acted for Lee Jezard, 22, who, while drunk, managed to board an empty plane at Birmingham airport via a baggage carousel. He had allayed the suspicions of cleaners by assuring them that he was the co-pilot.
Jezard later told them that he worked for the navy and was on a mission ‘breaking into places to see if people can catch me’.
He told the arresting airport police officers: ‘I was trying to show how easy it was to get on that plane – and I did.’
He was charged with boarding the plane, breaching airport security and, in what Khan described as a ‘bizarre act’, stealing £36.45 of food from a coffee shop while also using the cafe’s facilities to recharge his telephone.
Birmingham magistrates fined him £95 for each of the three offences. He was also ordered to pay full compensation to the coffee shop, along with £185 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Thoughts on the case: ‘Although it was a relatively low security breach, it is troubling that he managed to get on the plane at all – the incident could have been far more serious. Two of the charges were under the Civil Aviation Act, which surprisingly carries only fines rather than imprisonment. Nonetheless, he has now lost his job as a hotel manager, which makes his drunken escapade very expensive.’
Route to the case: Referral from a friend of Mr Jezard.
Why become a lawyer? ‘I like to help people put their side of the story.’
Career high: ‘The 2008 case of R v Junaid Abuhamza, where the defendant was charged with starving to death a child who he believed was possessed of an evil spirit. We discovered that he had a record of psychiatric illness going back 30 years. He was admitted to a psychiatric unit rather than convicted of murder, but pleaded manslaughter in 2010.’
Career low: ‘Legal aid funding cuts. We will soon go the full circle and people will only have legal representation if they can afford to pay for it themselves.’