A solicitor has allegedly been assaulted by court security officers, leading to a threat to boycott the court unless the officers are suspended.

The unidentified lawyer was attending Stratford Magistrates Court as a duty solicitor on Wednesday when he stepped outside for a cigarette.

When he tried to reenter the building, the security officers began by patting him down, said criminal defence solicitor Sebah Naz Baig, whose barrister allegedly witnessed the incident.

The lawyer complied, but then the overzealous officers “insisted” he remove his shoes as well.

“He told them they were being ridiculous as they had searched him in the morning and could see he has only stepped outside for a smoke”, said Baig.

The guards were unmoved and “refused to let him in the building”, but a legal advisor “arranged for him to enter through another entrance”, said Baig.

When the officers found out, they went ballistic and “physically dragged him out” just before his client’s hearing in the youth court.

The solicitor was allegedly gasping, “I can’t breathe”, because there were “so many security officers on top of him”.

When members of a Youth Offending Team tried to pull the officers off him, they began fighting them as well, said sources, hurting a female YOT member in the process. The police were then called and intervened in the melee, RollOnFriday understands.

In an open letter to the HMCTS, the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association has demanded the “immediate suspension from duty” of all the security officers involved in the “serious incident” pending a full investigation.

“Based on the reports we have received, we are seriously concerned and appalled at the alleged behaviour of the security officers involved”, said LCCSA President Edward Jones.

“Given the seriousness of the alleged incident and the already documented history of complaints against security staff at Stratford Magistrates' Court (which are already the subject of an official complaint by this association), we have no confidence at the moment that those tasked with ensuring the safety of our members and colleagues at this court are capable of doing so”, he said.


In April, criminal defence solicitor Katie McFadden triggered an outpouring of complaints about the conduct of the court's security officers when she posted on X about her experiences being searched by them.

McFadden said she had complained to HMCTS about a search three months ago which “included feeling all of the way under my dress up to my groin”.

The solicitor said she hadn’t received a satisfactory response from HMCTS apart from “’they are the policies, suck it up’ (not a direct quote)”.

Because of that experience, when she attended the court again in April she agreed to a search of her bag, coat and pockets, but declined a pat down.

The security officers refused to let her through, and also refused to let her raise the issue with the judge, the list caller, or the court manager, she said.

McFadden decided to subject herself to a search because she couldn’t leave her clients in the lurch, but her attempt to limit how invasive it was were fruitless, she said.

“I asked that the search be conducted only over my clothes. I also explained that it be explained to me what was about to be done, before it was done. Both of these requests were roundly ignored”, she said on X.

“Fortunately (?) this time the search only went as high under my dress as the middle of my inner thigh”, she said. “I asked again that I please not be touched under my clothes. I was ignored”.

The LCCSA has threatened to boycott the court, telling HMTCS, “Should these security officers continue to work at this court, we may recommend to our members that they do not attend Stratford Magistrates' Court until this situation has been resolved”.

A HMCTS spokesperson said, “These are serious complaints and we are urgently investigating them as a matter of priority. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage. Our security measures are designed to protect the safety of all court users within our premises and remain under constant review. They are put in place in consultation with judiciary and the police”.


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Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 03 May 24 09:24

Don't they know that searches are only for the plebs?! Disgraceful!

In protest I shall stay at home and leave my clients to defend themselves. That'll show the security staff who have no connection to actual trials. Trebles all round!

Feeling Frisky? 03 May 24 10:20

What on Earth is going on?

The male duty solicitor sounds like he was deliberately targeted by security and attacked and harassed whereas the female solicitor sounds like she was sexually assaulted by that team.

Why is it taking such a long time for the Court service to investigate? In any private business, this would have been investigated and concluded within 2-3 days.

Come on people - time to put things right, and quickly!! 

Fat Cat 03 May 24 10:50


"A crooked solicitor faces years behind bars after smuggling drugs and mobile phones to prison inmates in oversized shoes. Ritesh Brahmbhatt, 31, 'abused his position of trust' as a lawyer to use legal visits to two prisons to smuggle in banned and illegal items in return for cash bungs."

Comply, check, carry on. 

Anonymous 03 May 24 11:04

Scandalous! Heads must roll! The indignity of a solicitor, an officer of the court no less, being treated like one of the little people and asked to undergo a routine search like everyone else is simply outrageous.

Have you no shame about what you have done to our once great country Brexiteers?!

Arachnae 03 May 24 12:05

0924, so it’s pompous to object to sexual assault, is it? I hope sometime is charged with an offence for this.

Anonymous 03 May 24 13:36

If this happened as reported then the guards need to be fired and charged. Imagine all the duty solicitors who have had no choice but to put up with this appalling behaviour lest they put their clients at risk, or the junior advocates who don't feel confident enough to rock any boats. 

Anonymous 03 May 24 13:51

@12:05 - frankly if you think that because you're a lawyer that means that you're too high and mighty to have people randomly insert things into your bum, often with little justification, and without even thinking about lubricating first, then you just aren't cut out for a career in the City.

New Contributor 03 May 24 15:41

Two immediate fixes:

1. Smoking is bad for you.

2. Wear slip-ons and make it simple.




Feeling delirious 03 May 24 19:12

@Fat Cat 03 May 24 10:50

‘Comply, check, carry on.’

Except what you are ignoring is that these are not normal procedures. You are effectively saying Comply! (Get man-handled or have someone sexually assault you) - Check! (Have they finished doing whatever they want to - even though it breaches half a dozen rights?) - Carry on! (Now that I’ve been assaulted/violated, I should get on with my job). 

Are you high?? 

Outraged 03 May 24 20:30

I didn’t realise sexual assault was entertainment.

The Judiciary should refuse to sit at this Court until the officers are removed. 

Anonymous 07 May 24 10:37

Man refuses routine search because he doesn't like the policy and finds it inconvenient. Man is refused access to building. Man sneaks into building by using another entrance. Man is thrown out by security who regard him as suspicious for refusing prior search and then trying to obtain entry by stealth.

Sounds like a security team that needs a pat on the back and a bonus. It's exactly what you'd want people being paid to enforce a search-on-entry policy to do.

Why is it even a headline?

Next up, the woe and anguish of the lady who is annoyed that a search for contraband involved a search of an obvious place to conceal contraband, which she personally found inconvenient and wanted a trigger-warning first.

German lawyer 07 May 24 21:16


In Germany, lawyers can enter courts (with their lawyer ID card) without being searched at all. Bags aren’t searched either.

And you can use a separate line, which can save a lot of time.

I always wondered why they put so much trust in lawyers…

Feeling delirium 08 May 24 08:57

To those downvoting the above: 

Feeling delirious 03 May 24 19:12

Are you the security guard team at the court? Or do you generally support manhandling and sexual assault.. or both? 

Anonymous 08 May 24 14:36

Stop mangling the meaning of words, having your thigh patted as part of a search isn't "sexual assault".

You'll be telling us that them taking your bag off of you to put it through the scanner is an act of theft next.

Entitled and a snowflake 08 May 24 23:26

Entitled drama Queen/kings - security checks are there for a reason !!

Anonymous 09 May 24 22:32

We need to hear both sides and have a proper investigation. We don't knowing there was a sexual assault and won't know until such time as there is a conviction.

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