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Lawyer charged with perverting the course of justice
03 February 2017
An Australian lawyer has been charged with perverting the course of justice for allegedly lying to a retired judge when asking for a character reference.
Sydney lawyer James Cowled pleaded guilty last year to possession of a class A drug after he was caught by police in the toilet of a cocktail bar powdering his nose with cocaine. At the trial Cowled produced a positive character reference from a previous mentor, Michael Lloyd-Jones, a prominent retired federal court judge. The court took the reference into consideration and Cowled escaped a conviction and was slapped with a 12 month good behaviour bond instead.
But after the trial, judge Lloyd-Jones lodged a formal complaint to the police alleging that he was unaware that Cowled had been in court for a cocaine offence. Lloyd-Jones claims that Cowled lied to him when asking for the reference and said he was only facing a minor drink-driving matter, rather than class A drug charges.
How police found Cowled. A RollOnFriday reconstruction
The police have now charged Cowled with perverting the course of justice and he has been called to appear before a local court, with a listing for March.
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