A City solicitor convicted of assaulting his girlfriend by spitting at her has avoided being referred to a disciplinary tribunal.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority confirmed today it had opted to rebuke Matthew Owen and fine him £1,000. The former Deloitte solicitor agreed to the outcome, the SRA noted.

Owen, a solicitor for seven years, pleaded guilty in July 2017 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to assault by beating. He was given a community order to carry out unpaid work for 40 hours and to participate in an accredited rehabilitation programme for 40 days.

It was reported at the time that Owen had been drinking at his birthday party in Mayfair when his girlfriend left the event. He then grabbed her by the wrists, shouted abuse and twice spat in her face.

Magistrate Alexia Fetherstonhaugh told Owen he had avoided jail because of his clean record and guilty plea.

The SRA said Owen admitted to undermining the trust the public placed in him and the delivery of legal services. The regulator said his sanction was appropriate, taking into account that his conduct was deliberate or reckless and was neither trivial nor justifiably inadvertent.

Owen agreed to pay the £600 costs of the SRA investigation.