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Police station reps banned over convictions


The Law Gazette

Two non-solicitor police station representatives authorised by the Legal Aid Agency have been banned from working in the legal profession after being convicted of criminal offences.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority said it would be undesirable for Derek Martin Parker and John Bull to be involved in a legal practice without seeking permission from the regulator.

According to decision notices published on the regulator’s website, Parker and Bull were employed as police station-accredited representatives by Kent firm Thomas Boyd Whyte Solicitors.

The police station representatives accreditation scheme enables non-solicitors to advise and assist suspects being held at a police station and to claim payment from the Legal Aid Agency (formerly the Legal Services Commission) for providing such assistance.

They are usually called out to a police station after the duty solicitor has spoken to the client by phone.

Parker was employed as a representative by the firm between November 1998 and July 2013.

The SRA’s notice states that a certificate of conviction dated 30 September 2015 confirms that Parker was convicted, ‘upon his own confession’, on 3 July 2015 at Southwark Crown Court for handling stolen goods, conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and having custody or control of counterfeit currency notes.

In September 2015 Parker was sentenced to 20 months in prison. He was released on licence in June.

Bull was employed as a representative by the firm between September 2010 and July 2013.

In a separate notice, the SRA says that a certificate of conviction dated 22 February 2016 confirms that he was convicted, ‘upon his own confession’, on 3 July 2015 at Southwark Crown Court of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

In January Bull was sentenced to 12 months in prison. He was directed to pay a victim surcharge of £100 and £1,000 towards the costs of the prosecution. He was released on licence in April.

Thomas Boyd Whyte declined to comment.

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