24 August 2019

Barrister with conviction for CS gas possession to be disbarred

10 February 2014

A barrister who failed to disclose previous criminal convictions for possessing CS gas and wilfully obstructing the police is to be disbarred, following an independent public disciplinary tribunal.

The tribunal found that upon qualifying as a barrister Mr Giles Norton, from Sheffield, falsely denied he had any convictions despite having a criminal record for possession of an illegal weapon.

The panel heard that Mr Norton had three criminal convictions: two for possessing CS spray canisters and one for "wilfully obstructing PC Burgess, a police constable, in the execution of his duty".

Mr Norton was also found to have falsified a number of educational qualifications, including a BA in Chinese from Harvard University and an LLM from Staffordshire.

Mr Norton's practising certificate was suspended with immediate effect.

Head of Professional Conduct at the Bar Standards Board, Sara Down said: "Our duty as a regulator is, first and foremost, to protect the public. Mr Norton not only failed to disclose serious criminal convictions, but also fabricated his qualifications. In our view, there is no place at the Bar for such dishonesty and we believe the tribunal decision is the right one."

The hearing took place on Friday 7 February 2014.

More information can be found via http://www.tbtas.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/hearings/2298/Outcome-Posting-Norton.pdf


Notes to editors

Mr Giles Norton was called to the Bar by Inner Temple, November 2004. He was a sole practitioner based at Enigma Chambers.

CS gas is prohibited under Section 5(1)(b) of the UK Firearms act. For more information, see: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/d_to_g/firearms/index.html

About Disciplinary Tribunals
The Council of the Inns of Court (COIC) is an independent body - separate to the BSB - which is responsible for appointing the Disciplinary Tribunal panels which adjudicate on disciplinary charges brought by the BSB for professional misconduct. This function is performed under COIC's auspices by the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service (BTAS).

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