An alcoholic barrister who battered a hotel receptionist with a hockey stick has been allowed to continue his legal career.
A professional tribunal ruled yesterday that 29-year-old Felix Evans had reformed his life since the early hours attack that followed a drinking session in 2017.
Evans, who had been playing hockey before he went out drinking, hit the receptionist twice on the back and once in the face, breaking his jaw.
He was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence for the attack by a crown court judge in 2018.
An alcoholic barrister who battered a hotel receptionist with a hockey stick has been allowed to continue his legal career. A stock image is used above [File photo]
Evans was also ordered to pay £5,000 in compensation to the receptionist. The judge called Evans’s behaviour ‘completely unforgivable’, adding: ‘It seems to me that despite your high academic achievements and your qualification to the bar, that career is now utterly lost to you.’
The tribunal, which was headed by crown court judge Witold Pawlak, heard that Evans had admitted he was an alcoholic.
He had broken professional rules and failed to tell the Bar about his criminal conviction, it said.
However, since he was a newly qualified barrister who had not yet found a place with a chambers, he may not have known about the rules, the tribunal said.
Evans has since undergone counselling and joined Alcoholics Anonymous. He has also married and now has a child.
After qualifying again as a solicitor, the tribunal heard that he now has a job with a law firm which is fully aware of his criminal record.
The tribunal flagged up that ‘the circumstances of the assault were particularly egregious – he hit the hotel receptionist with a hockey stick three times, once in the face breaking his jaw and twice on his back’.
But it said that after his arrest Evans told police: ‘I’m very guilty for what I did. I’m upset I harmed him and shaken by what I’ve done. I regret it.’
It found that Evans had shown genuine remorse and had made efforts to ensure his actions did not happen again.
The lawyer was suspended from working as a barrister for three years – a decision which means he can continue his job as a solicitor.
A future return to the Bar – considered the elite of the legal profession – may also be open to him.
Evans was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £250 costs.
The tribunal said that a criminal conviction for an offence like that committed by Evans would usually mean he would be struck off.
‘Were it not for the efforts he has made to put his life in order we would not have hesitated to disbar him,’ it ruled.
‘However, we do consider all that he has done since the incident to repair his life to amount to exceptional circumstances.’