A former Herbert Smith Freehills lawyer who dodged £23,000 of train fares - and ran away when he was caught - has been struck off.

Between 2012 and 2015 Australian solicitor-advocate Peter Barnett commuted from his home in Oxfordshire without a ticket, tapping out of Marylebone station with an Oyster card. As a result he avoided paying £19.80, the cost of a peak single fare, and 'saved' £12.20 a day by paying the £7.60 charge for an incomplete Oyster journey instead.

When Barnett was stopped by a ticket inspector in November 2015 he said he had come from Wembley, then ran away when the inspector turned his back. He returned and confessed the next day, eventually pleading guilty to six counts of fraud at Westminster Magistrates Court. TFL estimated that Barnett dodged £23,000 of fares. He was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work (not dissimilar to just working as a criminal barrister then) and a 16-week suspended prison term.

    "Wahey! You'll never catch me!" 

Rhodes Scholar Barnett previously worked as a solicitor-advocate at Herbert Smith Freehills. He also founded a charity for African children, wrote a book on international law and was caught fare-dodging in 2010. Apparently he was so enamoured of his ruse he couldn't give it up.

The Bar Standards Board has now dismissed him from the profession. A BSB spokesperson said, "Dishonest conduct is incompatible with membership of the Bar".
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Anonymous 30 September 16 12:02

The real scandal here is that it costs you £40 a day to commute from Oxfordshire.