A solicitor has been suspended after police discovered a small cannabis farm at her home. 

Police attended solicitor Michelle Davis' home in April 2017 over a separate matter concerning her children's welfare. During the visit, an officer stumbled across enough cannabis being grown in one of the bedrooms to get a hippopotamus high. The collection consisted of 20 plants, each around 30 centimetres. If harvested, the haul would have had a street value of up to £16,000 (apparently: RollOnFriday has relatively little knowledge of shifting such a load). 

In March 2018 the matter was brought before Preston crown court. Davis told the court that the cannabis belonged to her husband and that she hadn't had any involvement in setting up, growing or cultivating the plants. However, she pleaded guilty to "permitting" the production of the drug on her premises. The court convicted Davis (as well as her husband) saying that she was responsible in her own way for the drugs. The court accepted the argument that the drugs weren't being produced for sale. The judge sentenced Davis to a community order which included rehabilitation activity of 25 days.


Good life

"Ah the good life. Simple, sustainable, self-sufficient and stoned"


Last month, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard the matter. Davis apologised and said that she understood that she had "let people down". She told the tribunal that she accepted her wrongdoing and that it would not happen again. She asked the panel to consider an alternative to striking her off as she "would love" to be given the chance to continue to practise as a solicitor. 

The tribunal found that although Davis did not instigate the criminal activity, there was "ongoing acquiescence in what was happening, whether or not she knew of its extent". However, the tribunal also noted that she had not appeared before the tribunal before and believed that her remorse was genuine.

Davis avoided being struck off. However, the tribunal said that "the maintenance of the reputation required a suspension to be imposed" and slapped Davis with a six months suspension and ordered that she pay costs of £2,800.

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Comments

Anonymouse 26 April 19 10:00

It's not nice to see anyone struck off, but I am baffled by the fact that someone can be complicit in the production of £1,000s of pounds worth of illegal drugs can apparently avoid being struck off, whilst an NQ bullied into misconduct by their firm's partners (despite reporting said misconduct to the SRA) gets struck off (https://www.rollonfriday.com/news-content/trainee-struck-overcharging-clients-after-being-bullied-partner). Ironic that there seems to be no justice when it comes to the SDT...

In reply to Anonymouse 26 April 19 10:17

It is because the SRA is in arbitrary body that makes it up as they go along. Long gone are the days where a solicitor or lawyer is considered an elite or noble profession in the eyes of the general public. SRA still acts as if we are in the 20th Century. 

Anonymous 26 April 19 11:29

To be fair, solicitor regulatory bodies are always much more concerned with things like dishonesty offences (which go the heart of being a "trusted adviser") than drugs and violence. I remember being told in an ethics class at Uni that you've got a better chance of being admitted if you killed someone than if you stole from them.. 

Anonymous 26 April 19 16:47

"The collection consisted of 20 plants, each around 30 centimeters. If harvested, the haul would have had a street value of up to £16,000 (apparently: RollOnFriday has relatively little knowledge of shifting such a load)" I do have knowledge of buying and think we should be told who said 20 X 30cms plants are worth 16,000 quid. SIXTEENTHOUSANDPOUNDS are you sure?

Juriet Blavo 30 April 19 05:31

Absolutely no reason at all that this woman should be struck off, as no dishonesty was involved. Who honestly cares if someone else produces soft drugs (that quite patently shouldn’t be illegal anyway) on the same premises that a solicitor resides? The woman who was bullied into minor misconduct by her superiors oughtn’t have been struck off either, for avoidance of doubt; as the entire world and his dog could see, other than the SRA’s impudent little men in horsehair.