The London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association
latest news for 22 May 2013
|Show All » In the Media » General »|
Top judge’s barrister son caught with cocaine and ecstasy - May-29-12
Source: The Times - Law
The trainee barrister son of one of the country’s top divorce judges was caught with cocaine and ecstasy just weeks after qualifying for his pupillage, a Bar Disciplinary Tribunal heard yesterday.
Henry Mostyn, 25, whose father Mr Justice Mostyn secured Sir Paul McCartney’s divorce from Heather Mills and also represented Earl Spencer in his second divorce before being appointed a High Court judge, was arrested after being searched by police as he stood in a queue for an unnamed east London nightclub.
The former Eton schoolboy and Oxford graduate was just two months into a pupillage with the prestigious London chambers 4 New Square at the time.
Officers calculated the total street value of the drugs was £40 and let Mr Mostyn off with a caution, the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal heard. His chambers have since decided not to discipline him.
Following his arrest on December 4 last year, Mr Mostyn admitted the drugs were his and later confessed to his new colleagues, the panel heard.
Handing him an official reprimand and ordering him to pay a £250 fines and £355 costs, Judge Julia Dias QC said he was guilty of a “lamentable lack of judgment”.
She said: “This is a very sad case. The exercise of judgment is one of the most important qualities a barrister can possess.
“Unfortunately, you demonstrated what can only be described as a lamentable lack of judgment.
“You are a member of a profession which is expected to adhere to higher standards than ordinary members of the public.”
She added there was nothing to suggest Mr Mostyn would have planned to “renounce the occasional use of recreational drugs” had he not been caught. “The inference must be that, if you were not apprehended on this occasion, you would have continued to use them in the future,” she said.
Mr Justice Mostyn, or Sir Nicholas, 54, left Lucy, his wife of 30 years, for the widow of a barrister shot dead by police.
He left Lady Mostyn, 53, after beginning an affair with Elizabeth Saunders, 42, whose husband Mark was gunned down by police marksmen after he drunkenly brandished a shotgun during a siege at their £2.2 million home in Chelsea in 2008.
Lady Mostyn was granted a decree nisi last year after the judge admitted adultery with Mrs Saunders, also a divorce barrister. The couple settled out of court earlier this year.
The judge’s other clients have included Karen Parlour, former wife of the England footballer Ray Parlour and Earl Spencer in his dispute with his second wife, Carolyn Freud.
Despite being nicknamed “Mr Payout” for the sums that he obtained for his clients, Sir Nicholas is an advocate of marriage. In his own words, he has a “rosy, romantic view that marriages should be attended by bridesmaids, rather than lawyers”.
Richard Todd, QC, defending, had earlier asked for the press to be excluded from the hearing because publicity would represent a “quadruple jeopardy” for the young lawyer.
He added the pupil barrister had a record of “developing and using his skills for the benefit of the wider community”, having volunteered for charity work.
In an August 2010 interview with The Guardian, Mr Mostyn described finding it “a little worrying” when a bag of drugs was produced during a role-play exercise organised by ex-offender charity Bright Young Things.
“But it later emerged that these were only props for a play the ex-cons were putting on,” he said.
Mr Todd added: “He most certainly has learnt his lesson from the foolishness of his behaviour. Everybody in his chambers is aware.
“The caution itself has an impact — it will have a bearing on future applications. It is going to have an impact on visas and a very lucrative line of work: working overseas.
“Mr Mostyn wants to work in the commercial work and it may well be he’ll have to forget about that.”
In a separate witness statement read to the hearing, Mostyn said he now realised taking drugs was “irresponsible and immature” and vowed never to indulge again.
“This behaviour will not be repeated,” he said.
« Go Back