A barrister has been suspended for professional misconduct after he was found to have pursued a romantic interest in a defendant he was prosecuting.
Drew St’Clair, called to the Bar by Middle Temple in July 2001, was suspended from practice for 26 months after the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service found he ‘violated a clear professional boundary’.
The disciplinary tribunal found St’Clair abused his position by using relevant personal contact information he had been given while prosecuting a case on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service to pursue his romantic interest in the defendant.
He had met the individual at court in his professional role as a prosecutor. The Bar Standards Board, which brought the charges against St’Clair, said he knew the person was likely to be vulnerable as a victim of domestic abuse.
A BSB spokesperson 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.’