A prominent ‘anti-taser’ solicitor was jailed today for contempt for breaching two High Court orders requiring her to deliver client files to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, as reported by the Law Gazette.
Ms Khan runs a Twitter account called ‘Taser Lawyer’. A description in its bio reads: ‘Solicitor with a specialist in Taser-related injuries and the country’s legal expert on Tased Law’.
41-year-old Khan is also the director of the Police Action Centre, which provides free advice for the public, protestors and prisoners who wish to pursue an action against the police or other ‘state body’.
Handing down judgment in Court 7 of the Royal Courts of Justice this afternoon, Mr Justice Leech said he was satisfied that Soophia Khan was liable for contempt for breaching two orders made last September.
Mr Justice Leech said Khan’s conduct amounted to a ‘serious, contumacious, flouting of orders of the court’ and merited an immediate custodial sentence of a significant length.
He imposed three months for the breach of each order to run concurrently and three months to secure compliance with the orders in question.
He suspended three months of the sentence conditional upon Khan complying with the orders within six weeks of today’s judgment.
The Law Gazette reported that if Khan fails to comply with either order during that period, she will serve the second three months of the sentence.
Last month, the Solicitors Regulation Authority asked the High Court to exercise its inherent supervisory jurisdiction to strike Khan off the roll at a committal hearing.
However, Mr Justice Leech said today that he was not satisfied that this was an exceptional case in which the court should exercise its jurisdiction to strike a solicitor off the roll.
‘In my judgment, it is more appropriate for the SRA to take proceedings before the SDT in the normal way if it wishes to secure an order that Ms Khan be struck off,’ he said.
Mr Justice Leech delivered his judgment just before lunchtime. He then signed a warrant for committal, placing Khan in the custody of the tipstaff, who was present throughout today’s hearing.
Khan was granted bail within the confines of the court at lunchtime on condition she returned to court seven at 2.10 pm.
After lunch, barrister Tim Grey, for Khan, made submissions for a stay of Mr Justice Leech’s order.
He told the court that Khan consented to surrender her passport, reside at an address in Leicester and to report to the local police station in Leicester on a weekly basis.
‘In the circumstances, any risk of granting stay are wholly limited and can easily be guarded against by provision of these conditions,’ he said.
However, Mr Justice Leech refused an order of stay. At 15:30 hours, he signed a new warrant for committal.
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