Hand in cookie jar

He was later caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

A barrister has been disbarred for stealing thousands of pounds from his own grandmother.

Darren Craig Stapleford, called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 2012, was found to have fraudulently used his grandmother's bank account to transfer around £11,000 to himself, and also used her bank card without her permission to withdraw £4,240 in cash. He also used the card to buy goods and services online.

In 2016 the Chichester Crown Court convicted him of five counts of fraud. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison, and ordered to pay £8,000 in compensation. 

The Bar Standards Board has now brought Stapleford before a disciplinary tribunal for the fraud against his nan. The panel said that his "behaviour was cynical and deliberately dishonest behaviour over an extended period of time, directed at a vulnerable elderly victim," and involved a "significant breach" of his "responsibilities" towards his grandmother.

The tribunal disbarred Stapleford stating that his "dishonest conduct" was likely "to diminish trust and confidence in the legal profession". The panel also ordered that he pay the BSB's costs of £1,560.

“The tribunal’s decision to disbar Mr Stapleford reflects the seriousness of the charge against him," said a BSB spokesperson. "Committing the offence of fraud is clearly incompatible with the high standards expected of the Bar."

The decision is open to appeal.

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Anon 17 March 23 10:21

I mean, this is why the idea that you’re a barrister after simply passing the bar should change. You pass your exams, never practice and you can call yourself a barrister. I don’t get it!

John West 17 March 23 11:33

"over an extended period of time" much like the seven years they took to disbar him. Brtish Justice. The world's finest.

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