Unanimous not guilty verdict for experienced solicitor accused of perverting the course of justice

Thursday 30 May 2019

James Scobie QC was instructed for the Defendant by Julie Ferguson of Levales Solicitors LLP.

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A council solicitor with nearly 20 years’ experience who was accused of perverting the course of justice was acquitted after a six day trial at Salisbury Crown Court, Surrey. The jury verdict was given Wednesday 29 May.

The solicitor had worked for the childcare team in a very fractious family case at Hampshire County Council and the allegation centred on him providing the police with a non-molestation order (NMO) which he claimed the father of one of the children on the case had breached. However, the NMO had been discharged at an earlier hearing in which the Defendant had been the principal solicitor. The police went on to wrongly arrest the father who was held in custody until the true position was revealed in respect of the status of the NMO and he was released. The Defendant had given a no-comment interview when arrested. He gave evidence at trial and the not guilty verdict was unanimous.

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council, quoted in The Portsmouth News, said:

"We are pleased to note the outcome of [this trial] in which [the solicitor] was fully exonerated and cleared of any wrongdoing. The verdict fully reflects our experience of his character and professional conduct. [The solicitor] will be resuming his normal duties at the County Council in due course.”

This case was reported by The News, Portsmouth.

James Scobie QC is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Crime team.

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