A barrister who assaulted police officers by threatening them with a kitchen knife has been fined £500 by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).
Jane Charlton, who was called to the bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 2009, ‘picked up a knife, pointed it towards one of the officers and charged at the door’ after being detained in her kitchen by police, the BSB’s Determination by Consent report states.
Police were originally called to the scene by Charlton’s partner who said she was throwing glasses at the wall. When officers arrived, they found Charlton to be ‘extremely drunk and unable to speak coherently’. She was then restrained and ‘quickly calmed down,’ the report says.
After the officers left, however, Charlton’s partner called the police a second time, saying she had ‘kicked off again, was throwing things around, was out of control and was now targeting him’.
Four officers found Charlton in the kitchen holding a ‘large kitchen knife’. Her partner, who had a cut to his arm, was holding the door shut. Another officer grabbed hold of the kitchen door to prevent Charlton from getting out.
According to the BSB report, ‘officers were afraid for their safety and that of their colleagues as they believed that if Miss Charlton left the kitchen she would attack the officers with knives’.
Charlton dropped the knife only when Taser-equipped officers arrived. She was arrested and pleaded guilty to four charges of common assault. She was sentenced to a community order in August 2016.
A month after the first assault, Charlton kicked a nightclub employee in the shin following an argument over a drink she bought for a homeless person whom the nighclub did not want on the premises. She received a Community Resolution Order.
The BSB issued Charlton with a reprimand and a £500 fine, noting that she had already completed a rehabilitation activity requirement and completed 100 hours of unpaid work.
Charlton told police she had been under ‘immense stress’ and that she had ‘had to recently stop working as a barrister as she wasn’t capable of doing the work,’ according to the BSB report. She also cited relationship and financial difficulties.
Charlton, who finished pupillage in 2012, was unregistered at the time of the assaults, having completed two additional ‘third six’ pupillages.