A solicitor has agreed to be fined £1,000 after failing to report a drink-drive conviction promptly to the regulator.
According to a decision published on the Solicitors Regulation Authority website, Oliver James David Godwin, admitted in 1999, was convicted of driving with excess alcohol at Guernsey Magistrates’ Court on 8 June 2016. His driving licence was suspended for two years and he was fined £700. He reported his conviction to the SRA on 20 December 2018.
The decision says: ‘Mr Godwin admits, and the SRA, accepts, that by virtue of his conduct and conviction for driving with excess alcohol and by failing to report his conviction promptly to the SRA, he failed to behave in a way which maintains the trust the public places in him and in the legal provision of legal services, in breach of principle 6 of the SRA Principles 2011.’
In mitigation, Godwin told the regulator he regretted his conduct and apologised for not reporting the conviction sooner. ‘He is unemployed and struggling to find a job due to the coronavirus and the impact this is having on the economy,’ the decision states.
Assessing how much to fine him, the regulator said the nature of the misconduct was low/medium because it did not form part of a pattern of behaviour and Godwin cooperated with the SRA’s investigation. The impact of the misconduct was low because his conduct caused no actual harm or direct loss. However, ‘in light of the delay in Mr Godwin reporting the matter to the SRA, the SRA does not consider that there should be any reduction in the basic penalty’.
Godwin agreed to pay the SRA’s costs in the sum of £300.