Earlier this month, Legal Cheek brought you news of the strange case of Marious Pimm, a Lincoln University law graduate charged with fraud for attempting to pass himself off as a barrister and a solicitor from his pop up office in a Peterborough pub.
Pimm, who had also embarked on legal executive training but had never qualified to practise, pleaded not guilty to the two charges against him – defrauding a total of £,5000 from a plumber and a woman helping her sister get a divorce – at his trial at Peterborough Crown Court. Having been found guilty on both counts, he was sentenced last Thursday to a year in prison…
That’s six months less than ex-con David Evans got in March when he was found guilty of actually donning a wig and gown to pose as a barrister and represent a friend in a Crown Court case.
Michael Magee, the prosecuting barrister in Pimm’s case, had argued a significant custodial sentence was necessary because the defendant’s antics could undermine people’s confidence in the justice system.
The sentencing judge, Nic Madge, agreed, stating: “The public are entitled to place total confidence in people who claim to be qualified lawyers.”
But Pimm’s barrister, Lawrence Bruce, argued that the fact his client’s reputation lay in “tatters” was sufficient punishment in itself. “The embarrassment and humiliation he feels is a very significant punishment in itself. He has already been crushed by this in terms of status and in terms of confidence. If he is sent to prison he will be crushed further,” he said.
As I noted in the original story I did on Pimm, the facts of the case outlined by the prosecution were pretty juicy, with Pimm having apparently told his partner he was a solicitor and even gone so far as to quip to a client that the wig he wore in court was “itchy”.
Pimm continues to maintain his innocence and is planning to appeal against the verdict.