• Application 11715-2017
  • Admitted 2015
  • Hearing 11 April 2018
  • Reasons 10 May 2018

The SDT ordered that the respondent should be suspended from practice for six months from 11 April 2018. Upon the expiry of that fixed term of suspension, the respondent would be subject to the following condition: that he should satisfy the applicant that he had attended a training course on the SRA Code of Conduct applicable to him at that time, with liberty to apply to vary that condition.

During a private consultation with client DD (who was under arrest) in a police custody suite, the respondent had permitted DD to use his mobile phone when there was an ongoing police investigation, in breach of principles 1, 2, and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011.

He had permitted DD to continue using his mobile phone to speak to his partner Miss PW, who was a potential witness in the case, knowing or being reckless as to whether she was providing a statement to the police as part of their ongoing investigation, in breach of principles 1, 2 and 6.

He had attempted to mislead the Metropolitan Police when they questioned him about permitting his client DD to use his mobile phone by denying that he had done so, in breach of principles 1, 2 and 6.

Overall, the impact of the respondent’s behaviour in handing over the phone, allowing the conversation to continue and lying to the police had damaged his reputation and potentially that of the firm and the profession with the police, and the public would no doubt take a dim view of it.

It seemed most unlikely that the respondent would behave in that way again and he had been relatively young and inexperienced at the time.

A fixed period of suspension would be appropriate, combined with a requirement that the respondent undergo training in the SRA Code of Conduct before returning to practice.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £7,320.