An alcoholic male solicitor who sexually assaulted female paramedics in his own home has agreed to be struck off the roll.
David Marriott, who was admitted in 1991 but had not practised since 2015, was convicted at Leeds Crown Court last October of two counts of sexual assault. He was given a four-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, and placed on the barring list for 10 years.
The misconduct, outlined in a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal judgment published this week, occurred in June 2018 when Marriott was reported as being drunk in the middle of a road in Leeds.
He was attended to by paramedics who drove him home in what the sentencing judge described as an ‘act of kindness’. Once in his flat, the court heard that he grabbed one paramedic’s bottom and the second woman's breast.
His Honour Judge Mairs described Marriott’s conduct as ‘gratuitous, needless, offensive and disgusting’, and aggravated by the paramedics' vulnerability. The judge took into account the steps Marriott was taking in relation to his alcoholism following these events, including attending rehabilitation and giving up alcohol from July 2018.
The tribunal heard that Marriott, who was still on the roll at the time, was required to notify the Solicitors Regulation Authority of his conviction, but the regulator was made aware only through a local newspaper article.
Having replied to the SRA’s correspondence, Marriott agreed to be struck off the roll and pay costs of £1,000.
In mitigation, not endorsed by the SRA, Marriott said he felt guilt, shame and remorse, and had been in denial about his longstanding alcoholism. On the day the assaults were committed, he had drunk two bottles of wine before 8am and was attempting to travel so he could sign on for Jobseekers’ Allowance.