A solicitor who mounted a three-month campaign of abusive messages to a law firm acting for him has agreed he should be removed from the roll.
Kieran Patrick O’Connor, a non-practising solicitor, sent 471 offensive, derogatory and inappropriate emails and social media messages to Manchester firm JMW Solicitors from January to March last year.
O’Connor had instructed the firm to defend a claim being brought against him but during the course of his retainer he started to send offensive messages to JMW employees and other individuals.
The firm reported O’Connor’s conduct to the Solicitors Regulation Authority and secured an injunction.
In June 2019, O’Connor was convicted before Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court for a racially aggravated public order offence and fined.
He contacted the SRA in December 2019 to advise he had received a caution from Greater Manchester Police for sending electronic communications that were ‘grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character’ contrary to the Communications Act 2003.
In a regulatory settlement agreement, O’Connor admitted to his criminal conviction, receiving a police caution and sending at least 471 offensive messages. In mitigation, he said he had a history of mental health issues and had a relapse of his symptoms at the time of the misconduct.
He was fined £2,000 by the SRA and ordered to pay £1,350 costs, as well as undertaking to apply to remove his name from the roll of solicitors within two weeks. He agreed not to apply for restoration to the roll for at least three years.