Disgraced British judge of Jamaican parentage disbarred

(Jamaica Gleaner) – Constance Briscoe, a disgraced former British judge of Jamaican parentage, has been disbarred for telling lies to the police in a scandal that landed her in jail in 2014.

According to the Guardian newspaper, the decision was announced on Friday by the Bar Standards Board that Briscoe, one of Britain’s first black, female judges lied to the police and should be struck off as a barrister.

“We note the decision of the tribunal to disbar Miss Briscoe. Attempting to pervert the course of justice is clearly incompatible with the high standards expected of the bar and the decision reflects this,” a spokesman was quoted as saying.

The 58-year-old was called to the bar in 1983.

In May 2014, she was sentenced to 16 months in prison after being convicted of three counts of perverting the course of justice. She was released early and was later spared being sent back to jail for not paying court costs after it was found she owed taxes but was penniless to pay.

She was thrown out of the judiciary while in prison and with Friday’s disbarring can no longer practice as an attorney-at-law.

According to reports, Briscoe, whose parents reportedly emigrated to the UK from Jamaica in the 1950s, lied to the police who were investigating former British cabinet minister, Chris Huhne for passing speeding points to his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce.

Briscoe reportedly helped Pryce, her neighbour and friend, liaise with journalists to smear Huhne but denied doing so when questioned by the police.

She also produced two false witness statements and altered a witness statement, the Bar Standards Board heard.

However, evidence later emerged showing that Briscoe had communicated with Pryce and journalists in texts, emails, as well as face to face.

In March 2013, the MP and his ex-wife were jailed for eight months over the scandal.


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