An extraordinary tale in today’s Observer.
Bruce Hyman, a practising barrister, has pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice. The full story is at the link, but what apparently happened was that Hyman, representing a client in a family case (over access rights), went to a Tottenham Court Road computer shop and emailed a bogus judgment to the other side – the father, appearing in person. The email purported to be from Families Need Fathers and the judgment apparently supportive of the father’s case.
The father naturally presented the judgment at the Court hearing, at which point Hyman pounced, suggesting the father was responsible for forging the judgment. The father was left facing a charge of perverting the course of justice and costs.
Hyman’s downfall only came about because the father managed to trace the IP address of the origin of the email and obtained CCTV footage from the computer shop for the relevant day, which, to his astonishment, showed Hyman using a laptop. Finally, he managed to get the police interested.
Hyman didn’t have a family practice and was apparently acting for a friend and business partner in the case. Reportedly, he continued to work on the case after being arrested.
Just to keep it topical, Hyman is the chairman of a big media production company (and a mate of Clive Anderson) and had relatively recently turned to the law (This was one of his first cases). It seems that a media attitude to veracity is a transferable skill.
Choice quote from an anonymous ‘acquaintance’:
He was in love with the law in the same way that some middle-aged men are in love with the idea of being a rock star.
Nearly Legal is fairly sure that his own ‘middle-aged’ turn to the law is not the equivalent of air guitar and inappropriately tight trousers, but who knows?
[Edit. Google suggests that Hyman was involved with mental health law and at Doughty Street Chambers. He does not/no longer exists on Doughty Street’s website. For anyone who doesn’t know, Doughty Street is a major Human Rights Chambers. Oh dear.]