A solicitor who received a caution for assault by beating a female family member has been rebuked by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
The regulator accepted that the conduct was “out of character” for Edward Bryn Bennett, a solicitor in the Leeds office of Plexus Law.
According to a regulatory settlement agreement published yesterday, in December 2019 Mr Bennett became involved in an argument with a female family member at his property, which resulted in him assaulting her.
Three days later, Mr Bennett accepted a conditional caution for assault by beating, contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The following month, he met the terms of his conditional caution.
He admitted failing to act in a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession.
In deciding that a written rebuke was an “appropriate outcome”, the SRA said it took into account the solicitor’s admissions and his mitigation.
This was that it was “an isolated incident and out of character”; he co-operated with the police and promptly complied with the terms of his conditional caution; he has shown remorse “such that the risk of re-offending appears to be low”; and the victim did not suffer any injuries.
The SRA said his conduct was reckless, “as it had the potential to cause harm”, and that a public sanction was required to uphold public confidence in the solicitor’s profession.
A Plexus Law spokesman said: “We do not condone this behaviour and we took appropriate action internally. The matter was dealt with by the relevant authorities and we accept the actions taken by the SRA.”