A paralegal has been fired for saying that Boris Johnson deserved to contract COVID-19.

Sheila Oakes, who is also the Mayor of Heanor, in Derbyshire, posted on Facebook last week that "he completely deserves this and he is one of the worst PM's [sic] we've ever had".


She did start by saying sorry.

When another poster called her comment "a cruel thing to say", Oakes replied that Johnson "has done absolutely nothing for the UK - have you heard how the nurses and doctors have no PPE, that there were not enough ventilators, that the NHS is massively underfunded and yet it is having to deal with this virus".

Johnson spent two days in an intensive care unit after becoming infected with the coronavirus, which has so far killed over 12,000 people in the UK.

VHS Fletchers Solicitors sacked Oakes from her position in its Ilkeston office for posting the "deeply offensive remarks"*, saying in a statement that as a result of her loose lips it became "embroiled in understandable and legitimate criticism of what she had said".


It's derailed the Pash a Paralegal campaign.

"To wish illness upon anyone must be abhorrent to all right thinking members of the public", said the firm, but "we have been heartened by a number of those who were able to distinguish her actions from those of this firm". 

The criminal practice added that some of its staff were key workers who "are arguing with the police on a daily basis that there is no need to arrest or interview suspects", to "reduce our client’s** risk of coming into contact with the virus", and presumably reduce their risk of going to jail as a side-benefit.

Oakes, who was also thrown out of the Labour party (if only she'd just been antisemitic), told the Derby Telegraph, “I would like to apologise if I upset anyone, it was not my intention. I didn’t mean that there should be serious consequences from the virus" and that, “I hope that he makes a recovery and does not suffer any long-term ill effects".

*and also for that rogue apostrophe.

**another rogue apostrophe. Did...did she draft this statement? Is this all a Fletchers PR stunt?

Tip Off ROF


Anon 17 April 20 11:40

Yet another warning about the dangers of social media.  One throwaway post made destroys a career.  

FluffnBluff2 17 April 20 12:00

"Career" is used quite loosely here I feel, unless you're referring to her high-flying career at the cut and thrust of Derbyshire politics

Anon 17 April 20 13:59

"That is the left for you....."

Yes, because no one on the right has ever said anything hateful, Lydia. 

SecularJurist 17 April 20 21:51

Somewhat harsh to sack her TBF, especially as Bozo was hoist by his own petard and clownlish approach to Covid-19.

Compare this to offers of pro bono representation in an as yet unfiled appeal for the NQ who lied about leaving a briefcase of SRA case papers on a train, considering that she worked for the firm that is instructed by the SRA, and that it has been argued that the sanction has been harsh, as was the £10,000 order for costs, perhaps one should allow the said paralegal her first bite and let a lesson be learnt. 

SecularJurist 17 April 20 23:17

Anon 17 April 16:55. True. Right-wingers saying something crass and phobic become PM.


a perfectly normal human being 18 April 20 09:08

It is perfectly correct to use an apostropher when pluralising a set of initials such as "PM".

SecularJurist 18 April 20 22:07

Now a Local Authority Solicitor has been fined by the SRA, but not taken to the SDT, for a second DWEA conviction, and therefore avoided being struck off the Roll or suspended from practice (although he has resigned). One is not necessarily criticising the SRA's ruling, just drawing another comparison. 

Seems social media posts damage careers more than summary convictions in the Magistrates' Courts. Bearing in mind that drink-driving has potentially fatal and life-changing consequences. wishing Bozo ill-tidings on social media is Freedom of Expression, protected by Article 10 ECHR. 

One person broke the law, another upset sensibilities. Perhaps both may have done something to mar the reputation of the profession, but one broke the law and faced a potential prison sentence for a repeat offence and remains on the roll. The paralegal in question now cannot find another job in the law for posting, frankly, what many people thought privately, and would not consider offensive.

The Gobbing Fistula 22 April 20 14:04

Wishing your enemy would die is hardly unusual.  Saying it out loud, however, is.

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