A solicitor who was given a suspended sentence for assaulting his mother in her own home has been indefinitely suspended from practice.
James Michael Gregson, then 44, was found guilty of common battery in 2018 and sentenced to 18 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for a year, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard today.
He pleaded not guilty and reportedly claimed that he accidentally hit his mother in the face with a saucepan full of dumplings while he was watching snooker on television. His victim was identified as Person A before the tribunal, but press reports of conviction named his mother.
Andrew Bullock, for the Solicitors Regulation Authority, told the tribunal that Gregson’s mother was required to attend court to give evidence as a result of the not guilty plea. ‘From the nature of the penalty … the sentencing bench must have regarded it as a serious offence of its type, having regard to the range of penalties available under section 39 [of the Criminal Justice Act 1988],’ Bullock added.
He also noted that ‘Person A was being assaulted in her home and a weapon was involved and that alcohol was also involved’.
Bullock said Gregson, who did not attend the SDT hearing and was not represented, was identified as a lawyer in press reports of the criminal proceedings, which would damage public confidence in the profession.
‘The public does not expect solicitors to commit acts of violence towards others in their home,’ Bullock said.
Gregson was also accused of failing to report his misconduct to the SRA and failing to cooperate with the regulator’s investigation, allegations that were found proved by the tribunal.
The tribunal ordered that Gregson be ‘suspended from practice as a solicitor for an indefinite period’ commencing today. Gregson was also ordered to pay £2,543 in costs.