Barrister disbarred for dodging train fares

Read the full story here: “An Oxfordshire-based barrister has been disbarred after dodging thousands of pounds in railway fares following a hearing at the Bar Standards Board.

Peter Barnett, 45, avoided paying the correct fare for two years from 2012 by claiming he commuted into central London from Wembley in north-west London instead of his home in Thame, Oxfordshire.

He was confronted by a suspicious ticket inspector at Marylebone station in November 2014. He ran away from the inspector but handed himself in the following day.

He was convicted of six charges of fraud by false representation at the City of London magistrates court last September.

During his trial the prosecution alleged he avoided nearly £20,000 in fares but a judge later accepted Barnett’s claim that he evaded only £5,892.70 based on the price of a weekly ticket.

Australian-born Barnett has now been disbarred following a hearing at the Bar Standards Board. He was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn in London in 2007, but has never held a practising certificate as a barrister in England and Wales.

A BSB spokesperson said: “Dishonest conduct is incompatible with membership of the bar. The tribunal’s decision to disbar Dr Barnett reflects this.”

Barnett avoided prison when a 16-week jail term was suspended, but he was banned from his profession for 12 months and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

McMuttley Dastardly LLP: The Scotsland Office Plan

scotsflags2Dr Strangleove sat back in his chair, lit a large Havana cigar, sipped a fine Glenmorangie 10 year old whisky and dictated a memorandum:

“I understand that there is a country called Scotsland some distance to the North of us here in the Metropolitan capital and it occurred to me that as we do not have an office up there, we should open one immediately.  It could also be most useful as a device ‘pour encourager les autres’ for those associates who do not meet the monthly billing targets to be sent up there for a period to reflect on the ability to continue to practice law with us and do some law as well.  I am advised that Scots Law is different.  This should not present any difficulty to our associates.  They can re-qualify.  We can give them six weeks unpaid leave to mug up on the law and requalify.  If any of you actually know anything at all about Scots law, let alone where Scots Land is, perhaps you could drop me a line.?

On another matter: I happened to notice that we have a new Prime Minister – one Dartha Vader, according to our Education & Training Guru, Charon QVC.  See: Prime Minister Dartha Vader Speaks  If any of you know anything about her antecedents – I understand that she was farmed out in the last Cameron regime to run the Home Office and spent much of her time deporting people or stopping them crossing the Channel from France.  Why the French persist in calling it “La Manche” I have no idea.  It has always been The English Channel, It is our Channel and always will be – but there we are.”

Memorandum Ends

Dr Strangleove
Senior Partner.



Guest Post: Drink driving charge? Here’s how you could keep your licence…

Drink driving charge? Here’s how you could keep your licence…

You may think that it’s the end of the world if you’ve been charged with drink driving. You’ll be banned from driving and you’ll no longer be able to get to work, to take your children to school and so on. However it’s important not to panic if you find yourself in this situation.

Instructing a solicitor that specialises in drink driving could help you to avoid a ban from driving. If you were surprised by the level of alcohol in your system it may be that the machine produced an erroneous reading.


High alcohol readings

If you have provided a high reading on a breath testing device you could well have a good chance of avoiding conviction for the offence.

Inaccurate readings do occur, so if you’ve been surprised by a reading when you know that you’ve had little or no alcohol, the reliability of the analysis used as evidence can be challenged.

In cases where alcohol has been consumed after driving but before the test, this could produce a reading which does not fairly reflect the amount in your system at the time you drove. This is commonly known as the “hip flask defence”.


Failure to provide samples

Failure to provide a sample of breath for analysis normally carries a disqualification from driving of at least one year. However, there may have been legitimate reasons as to why samples were not provided and these can be used a defence.

For example, you may have a medical condition that affects your lung capacity meaning that you were unable to satisfy the needs of the analysis. Or, the police could have been unclear on how to use the machine. There are three types of machine used in the UK, and although instructions that work for one machine may not work for another, officers are told to instruct people in the same way for all three.

Finally, if you were involved in an accident and were taken to hospital, a breath sample cannot be provided as at a police station. Only blood or urine can be required. This increases the possibility of procedural errors on the part of the police.

These are all instances where you can put forward a defence against a conviction, but make sure that you have the best representation possible. Going to someone like will ensure that you have 25 years’ worth of experience in defending motoring charges in your corner.

If you’d like a full list of potential penalties click here.
I hope you found this article useful – if you have anything to add, please feel free to leave a comment.