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In one of the least surprising brassiere related decisions ever by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, Daniela Scotece has been struck off the roll.

Ms Scotece, an erstwhile criminal defence solicitor at the Nottingham Johnson Partnership, was convicted in April of passing cannabis to a client by smuggling it in to the cell at a Magistrates hearing. The cannabis was concealed in her bra, but that didn’t stop a sniffer dog. Possibly even worse, from the Court’s point of view, she had abused the judicial process to get her client to court.

For some reason the Guardian has now decided she hid the drugs in her knickers, but never mind. I did rather like the Judge at her trial reportedly saying ‘she had completely blurred the line of professional conduct‘. A bit beyond blurring, I’d have thought, as supplying illegal drugs isn’t really a professional grey area.

Also busted is the Government for failing to follow Cabinet Office guidelines in publishing the results of consultation on its proposals to restrict the powers of the Court of Appeal in criminal cases. The Government had failed to make public the fact that senior appeal court judges, the council of circuit judges and the Criminal Cases Review Commission all thought this was a cretinously bad idea.

The measures, restricting the powers of the Court to overturn a guilty verdict where there were procedural faults in the process if the Court still thinks that the Defendant did it, are going for a second reading in Parliament.

Let me just get this clear for myself. If you are convicted as the result of a flawed process – meaning that pre-trial or trial was not carried out properly – your conviction will not be overturned if the appeal court thinks you most likely did it anyway, which can only be on the basis of… well, the evidence in the flawed trial? Brilliant.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

1 Comment

  1. Emma P

    It looks like you’ve stumbled on a loophole here! So flawed evidence is OK if you probably did it?! Amazing


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