The bar disciplinary tribunal has published the reasons behind its six-month suspension for a barrister convicted of ‘upskirting’, saying the respondent had not committed a ‘serious sexual offence’ according to its guidelines.
The Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service unanimously found that Daren Timson-Hunt – who was convicted under the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019 last year – should receive a medium level suspension of between three to six months.
‘The tribunal was of the view that the offence committed by the respondence [sic] was a serious one if relatively new. It involves filming. It was not touching but nevertheless it was serious. However, in the meaning of the sanctions guidance it was not a serious sexual offence.'
The tribunal added that Timson-Hunt had provided ‘glowing references’ and had been 'working very hard’ at the time of the incident.
‘He was working on the goods related aspects of Brexit and he told the tribunal it was not uncommon for him to work 80 hours per week. His wife was ill at the time and had still not fully recovered. The respondent was subject to domestic pressures. This is how he came to commit the offence and in doing so jeopardised his career. He lost his job.’
In mitigation, the tribunal found that Timson-Hunt showed genuine remorse; that it has been a single, heat of the moment incident; and that the barrister had 'unusual personal circumstances that provide a reasonable explanation for his behaviour', among other things.
The case was heard by a three-person panel but was referred to a five-person tribunal for sanction.
Timson-Hunt was found to have behaved in a way likely to diminish public trust and had had behaved in a way which could ‘reasonably be seen by the public to undermine his integrity’.
Timson-Hunt was convicted at Westminster Magistrates Court in September 2019 and was sentenced to a community order after using his mobile phone to record images underneath a woman’s skirt.