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Solicitor jailed for encouraging client to intimidate witness

6 January 2011

A solicitor has been jailed for 16 months for encouraging a defendant to intimidate a witness waiting to give evidence.

Mohammed Imran Hussain, 33, was caught on CCTV telling his client how to find the witness at Loughborough Magistrates’ Court. Hussain worked for Sakhi Solicitors in Leicester until September last year.

According to local press reports Hussain’s client, Messian McLean, was on trial for criminal damage after he threw a mug out of his car.

McLean banged on the window of the waiting room, shouting at the witness and making obscene gestures. The witness later told the court he felt threatened and intimidated.

Hussain was shown on CCTV talking to McLean before pointing to the room and, on his return, touching fists with him.

Hussain, who was admitted as a solicitor in 2003, told the court he had only been to the magistrates’ court three times and did not know the private room was a witness waiting area.

He said he suggested McLean go to the room because he believed a woman his client was interested in was inside.

Hussain’s defence counsel said he suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and had serious financial problems.

He was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court to 16 months in prison for witness intimidation. He was described as sitting with his head in his hands and wiping tears away from his face when the sentence was read out.

McLean pleaded guilty to witness intimidation. He was sentenced to three months for criminal damage and ten months for witness intimidation.

A spokesman for the SRA said that convictions involving solicitors were automatically referred to it, and it was “highly likely” that Hussain would be struck off.

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