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Fare-dodging barrister disbarred

Fare-dodging barrister disbarred


Dishonest conduct is incompatible with membership of the Bar, says BSB

A non-practising barrister who used an Oyster card to avoid paying the full fare on journeys from his Oxfordshire home to London has been disbarred.

Dr Peter Barnett was ordered disbarred by an independent disciplinary Tribunal at a hearing on 26 September 2016, following charges brought by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

The tribunal's decision followed Barnett's conviction last year for six offences of fraud relating to his evasion of rail fares in and out of Marylebone Station between 1 April 2012 and 24 November 2014.

Chiltern Railways argued the barrister should pay back the almost £20,000 in lost fares. However, the court accepted the defence's argument that the true value was just under £6,000, which was based on the price of a weekly ticket.

Barnett was also given a 16-week prison sentence after admitting a failure to pay for journeys on 655 days and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Defending him at trial, Angus Bunyan of 2 Hare Court said Barnett's legal career was 'over' as he was unemployable as a lawyer.

Following the disciplinary tribunal's decision, a BSB spokesperson said: 'Dishonest conduct is incompatible with membership of the Bar. The tribunal's decision to disbar Dr Barnett reflects this.'

Barnett has never held a practising certificate as a barrister in England and Wales but was called to the Bar in 2007.