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Hannah Gannagé-Stewart

Deputy Editor, Solicitors Journal

Solicitor struck off after breakdown in mental health

Solicitor struck off after breakdown in mental health


Patrick O'Connor sent approximately 471 offensive messages to firm he had instructed

A solicitor with a history of mental health issues has been struck from the Roll after sending hundreds of offensives emails and social media messages.

Kieran Patrick O’Connor had instructed Manchester-headquartered JMW Solicitors to defend a claim being brought against him.

However, during the course of his retainer with the firm he started sending offensive communications to employees at JMW. Two of which entered complaints to the High Court in Manchester on 8 March and 12 June 2019.

In a report to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), JMW said he had sent approximately 471 offensive, derogatory and inappropriate communications by email and on social media between 3 January to 28 March 2019.

O’Connor was fined by the court and on 18 December 2019, he contacted the SRA to advise that he had received a caution from Greater Manchester Police for sending electronic communications that were ‘grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character’, which were in breach of the Communications Act 2003.

Consequently, O’Connor agreed he should be been struck off. He is unable to apply for restoration of his license to practice for a minimum of three years, and in doing so he must also provide medical evidence that he is fit to practice.

In mitigation it was found that he had a history of significant mental health issues, with his medical records showing that, at the time of the misconduct, he had a relapse of his symptoms.

He was fined £2,000 by the SRA and must pay £1,350 in costs.