Prosecutor suspended for romantic interest in defendant

BSB: Conduct manifestly incompatible with expected standards

A barrister who used information he had as a prosecutor to pursue a romantic interest in the defendant has been suspended from practice for 26 months.

According to the Bar Standards Board (BSB), a Bar disciplinary tribunal ruled that this week that Drew St’Clair, called in 2001, behaved in a way which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in him or in the profession.

In November 2021, it said, Mr St’Clair “abused his position by using relevant personal contact information he had been given” whilst prosecuting a case on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service.

“He did so to pursue his romantic interest in the defendant in those proceedings, whom he had met at court in his professional role as a prosecutor and whom he knew was likely to be vulnerable as a victim of domestic abuse.”

A BSB spokesman said: “The tribunal found that Mr St’Clair violated a clear professional boundary and abused his position of power in relation to a vulnerable individual.

“This type of conduct is manifestly incompatible with the high standards expected of the Bar by those experiencing the justice system and the wider public and the tribunal’s order to suspend Mr St’Clair reflects the seriousness of such behaviour.”

The tribunal’s decision is currently open to appeal.

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