A barrister who sent threatening emails to a client and continued to conduct litigation when suspended for drug offences has been reprimanded by the tribunal.
Henry Hendron, 40, was suspended in 2016 after pleading guilty to two charges of possessing controlled drugs with intent to supply at the Central Criminal Court. It was reported at the time that Hendron had supplied his boyfriend with ‘chemsex’ drugs that led to his death.
In the latest set of disciplinary proceedings, the bar tribunal found that Hendron had conducted litigation during his suspension; held himself out as a barrister in email correspondence and on two websites during his suspension; and sent ‘inappropriate and threatening emails’ to clients. Half of the charges brought by the BSB were not established.
In one email, Hendron said: ‘When you pick a fight against someone who has nothing to lose, you have nothing to win. I learnt that recently. You, have both, been warned’. In another, he wrote: ‘I warned you about the consequences of your actions, yet you chose to repay the loyalty that I had shown with theft and treachery.’
In judgment, the tribunal said previous findings against Hendron ‘show serious and recurrent problems in his life and a failure to respond to previous disciplinary proceedings and sanctions’. It added that it still had concerns about the respondent’s ‘lifestyle, his attitude, and his self-damaging behaviour’.
‘The tribunal felt that the respondent has, at the hearing, shown some insight but he still has somewhere to go before he fully addresses all his problems, in particular that of substance abuse. The tribunal felt that it could not be confident that there would not be a relapse.’
On sanctions, the tribunal was of the view that ‘cumulatively the charges justified a further suspension. However, it recognised that there had not been any further allegations of misconduct since 2019 and his return to practice.’
The tribunal unanimously decided, therefore, that a suspension was not appropriate. It reprimanded Hendron on each charge and said he cannot accept public access intructions for two years, and must complete a public access training course. It also allocated a specific person at the Bar Standards Board to deal with any future disciplinary matters.
No costs order was made, with the tribunal noting that Hendron was recently made bankrupt.