Nine lives used up.

One of the most storied barristers in UK law has been disbarred.

Henry Hendron was charged with professional misconduct and accused of behaving in a way which was likely to diminish the public’s trust and confidence in barristers, and which could be seen as undermining his integrity and independence.

The charges stemmed from Hendron’s conviction last year when he pleaded guilty to possessing crystal meth, which he bought on three occasions from two of his clients.

He was arrested outside HMP Belmarsh on his way to a client conference inside, and found himself back there for “one whole horrific month in hell" when he was sentenced to 14 months in prison. He was then moved to a lower security, Category C jail ”where life was marginally more bearable”.

The colourful brief has been a frequent fixture on these pages, having been suspended from practice after he admitted supplying drugs which killed his boyfriend at a chemsex party in Temple, suspended again for failing to pay back a complainant (although that decision was overturned), and reprimanded by a tribunal for continuing to practise while suspended.

He once nominated himself to be elected to the Bar Council, which would have been amazing but didn't come to pass.

Hendron told ROF, “I recognise I used up more than my nine lives, and concur that if I was on the panel hearing the same case against another, I would have made the decision to disbar me”.

He said he was still recovering from the trauma which led him into addiction. His expulsion “marks the end of a particularly tough period" which "I only made worse as I struggled with serious addiction, itself brought on by PTSD and my inability to come to terms with the loss of my partner who died in bed next to me at our (then) middle temple apartment, and the moral personal responsibility I assume for that tragic loss”.

Hendron said he wasn’t making excuses, however, and that “all the ill, including this disbarment, that has befallen me in recent times I am solely responsible for; I don't seek to blame others for my own failures”.

He said previous tribunals were generous and had "given me chance after chance”, but “in the battle with addiction I squandered those chances to my own folly”.

Hendron previously dated both the clients from whom he bought drugs, but conceded that when he became their barrister the extracurricular relationships "should not have continued in any shape or form”.

“My actions undoubtedly tarnished the hard won reputation of the bar and I say sorry to everyone who is invested in the bar, the legal profession and the justice system; I let you all down”, he said.

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Definitely not Henry 05 July 24 13:26

I cannot commend this chap enough for his dignified and moving response to these developments.  If the rest of us had half the decency and moral fortitude that this man has displayed here, the world would be a much better place.  

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