LCCSA Comment: Richard Egan Death Threats (Jack Shepherd)
On 28 January 2018, it was reported that Richard Egan – a partner at Tuckers Solicitors and Jack Shepherd’s solicitor – had received a targeted and graphic death threat.
This disturbing news was described by the former Lord Chief Justice as "…not merely a crime in itself but a fundamental attack on our values as a society and hence the rule of law."
The public outcry to this case has been fuelled by repeated salacious and irresponsible reporting in the press and amongst politicians who have portrayed Mr Shepherd’s defence team as enabling his absence while engorging themselves on legal aid payments.
The prosaic truth is that dedicated professionals worked to the best of their ability in furtherance of their client’s best interests as they are professionally obliged to do so. They did so in a crumbling system and for limited payment.
This death threat is the sad unintended, but not unexpected, culmination of the misrepresentation of the role of Mr Shepherd’s defence team.
Those involved in the Criminal Justice System, be they solicitors, barristers, Judges, police officers or probation officers are entitled to undertake their challenging roles without fear of reprisal.
If the government fails to achieve this, then it will fatally undermine the quality of a justice system that we are rightly proud of.
We call on the Lord Chancellor and the government to support the former Lord Chief Justice’s condemnation of this vile attack on our legal system.