Out of the sin bin.
A barrister convicted of battering a hotel receptionist with a hockey stick has been allowed to retrain as a solicitor.
Felix Evans had been drinking heavily after a game of hockey in February 2017 when he attacked the receptionist at the hotel at which he was staying in the early hours of the morning.
Evans, now 29, hit the receptionist twice on the back, and once in the face so hard that he broke the man's jaw.
Evans was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for 2 years, after the judge at his criminal trial ruled that his behaviour was "completely unforgivable".
"In my mind it matters not, in fact, it only exacerbates things, that you were drunk, and you ought to be thoroughly ashamed of yourself", said the judge.
The Chairman of his Disciplinary Tribunal, Witold Pawlak, described the attack as "egregious", and said that disbarment would normally follow a conviction for serious violence, "which this undoubtedly was". Evans had also failed to report his conviction to the Bar Standards Board.
However, the tribunal decided there were exceptional circumstances which merited a three year suspension instead. Pawlak noted that Evans was now attending AA meetings, and had said that he was "ashamed and devastated by what he did".
"Were it not for the efforts [Evans] has made to put his life in order we would not have hesitated to disbar him", said Pawlak.
The tribunal also said that as an unregistered barrister, Evans may not have realised that he was required to tell the BSB about his conviction.
The regulator only found out because Evans disclosed his record to the Solicitors Regulation Authority when he applied to retrain as a solicitor.
Evans was granted permission by the SRA and managed to secure a position at a firm specialising in criminal law to undertake his training. Despite being made aware of Evans’s conviction, his profile on its website included the unfortunate line, "Felix has experience of advising on a whole range of cases including assault".
The firm did not respond to a request for comment.