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Escort turned Southampton Solent law student banned from driving for 18 months after smashing into motorcyclist

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But her lecturer insists she’s a ‘model student’

A former escort who is now studying law at Southampton Solent University has been slapped with an 18-month driving ban after careering into a motorcyclist in her flashy convertible Audi.

Leanne Davies, appearing at Southampton Crown Court, pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving following the incident in January 2016.

The court heard how the second year law student had argued with a motorcyclist before she was captured on a dash-mounted camera veering onto the wrong side of the road and colliding with his bike (pictured below). Sam Wolf — who was on the receiving end of Davies’ shunt — suffered a dislocated shoulder, multiple wrist fractures and ligament damage.

Image via Solent News

Phil Jones, a senior law lecturer at Southampton Solent, gave evidence in court in Davies’ case. The jurisprudence specialist described Davies as a “model student” who is “in the top five or 10 per cent of her class.”

But despite the glowing academic report, Davies also received a 12-month sentence, suspended for a year, and a £550 fine. Addressing the 30-year-old mother of two in court on Friday, Judge Gary Burrell QC quipped to Davies:

Ironically you are studying law, maybe you should implement what you learn.

But this isn’t the first time the aspiring lawyer has had a run in with the law.

According to the Mail Online, Davies has nine previous convictions and was already serving a suspended sentence for attempting to blackmail a doctor out of £10,000.

Last March, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal heard how Dr Rupert Pemsel paid to have sex with Davies while he was working a shift at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton. According to Matthew Lawson, prosecuting in the road rage case: “the defendant had been working as an escort when a member of staff at the NHS used her services. Both she and her partner made calls demanding money along with threats to tell his wife.” Davies pleaded guilty at Winchester Crown Court for this offence and was handed a 24-month suspended sentence.

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50 Comments

Anonymous

Just because your career didn’t take off in law there is no need to try and destroy hers.

(34)(56)

Anonymous

In fairness, she sounds like an awful person. 9 previous convictions, trying to blackmail someone.

(77)(6)

Anonymous

“There is no need to try and destroy hers”

I think she is doing a good job of that herself, no?

(72)(4)

Anonymous

I think this is entirely newsworthy. Besides, what career in law? She’ll be very lucky to get anywhere with those convictions.

(31)(1)

Jones Day Partner

*thinks briefly*
… Nope.

(19)(4)

Anonymous

Delicious bants

(10)(0)

Jones Day Equity Partner

Sorry, too late. I read the first line and offered her partnership on the spot.

(10)(0)

Anonymous

Southampton Solent…ranked worst uni for Law in the UK in rankings 2 years ago. Hardly had much chance of a prosperous legal career anyway. Giving her previous career of making a lot of money, presumably she thought she’d go to Solent and bag a magic circle TC.

(10)(10)

Anonymous

I mean her convictions aside maybe she just wanted a change of career and law interested her. I think you’re being a little presumptious when you assume that she expected a Magic Circle TC. Nobody is that delusional

(6)(2)

Clifford Chance TC

Just so it’s out there I know a couple people from really low ranked unis who have TC’s at CC. One went to Canterbury Christ Church which is second worst under southampton solent.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Well someone needs to fish those floaters out of the pool.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Even without the convictions, she’d struggle—note the last 5 words of this link:

http://www.legalcheek.com/2015/09/cambridge-is-the-best-uni-for-law-and-southampton-solent-is-the-worst/

(3)(3)

TopCat

She won’t even get on the LPC. The SRA got their knickers in a twist over a speeding ban, blackmail displays a dishonest nature. She’s wasting her time

(11)(0)

Anonymous

SRA Suitability Test, 1.1(a) and 1.1(j). She falls at the first fence.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

A friend of mine wasn’t allowed to do his LPC for another 3 years after completing his GDL due to a previous drink-drive conviction (he was just barely over the limit) – I somewhat doubt she’ll get anywhere with a record like that. She does seem like an awful person by all accounts.

(5)(0)

HHJ Judge

Bit judgmental, non?

(0)(4)

Anonymous

The Dimstitute strikes again.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“in the top five or 10 per cent of her class.” – At Southampton Solent, having more than one brain cell and mastering the ability to breathe normally automatically puts you above 95% of the uni already

(9)(6)

Solent undergrad

🎼If I only had a brain🎶

(4)(0)

Anonymous

It’s been a while since my LPC, can someone please remind me, if she was already serving a suspended sentence for blackmail, how come she wasn’t given a custodial sentence following the dangerous driving conviction for both the blackmail and the dangerous driving?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Soft court

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Judge must have felt it wasn’t in the interests of justice to activate the previous one. God only knows why.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

In my view it is certainly in the interests of justice to imprison someone who is willing to blackmail doctors and use a vehicle as a weapon.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Mentul helf ishooz innit?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Ranked worst university for Law 2 years ago, and ranked this year above Oxford, and the London School of Economics, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Winchester, Brighton, Surrey, Sussex, Southampton, Exeter, Plymouth and Reading in the NSS. 19/108 in England and Wales. As a Solent student I would actually be proud that lecturers like Phil Jones have my back and are not judgemental and that classes are made up from people from all walks of life, not just the private school educated.

(14)(12)

AnonEmouse

Err, the NSS is voted for by students and rates their (highly subjective) experience. It is not an independent and objective assessment of the academic quality of the institution itself.

To suggest otherwise would be like judging football teams not by their place in the league table, but by which club has the best pies (according to fan polls).

(7)(7)

Anonymous

And what do you think league table position is based on ? I didn’t bring this up 🙂

(0)(0)

Anonymous

4. Course satisfaction is the percentage of final-year students satisfied with overall quality, based on the National Student Survey (NSS)
5. The teaching quality score is the percentage of final-year students satisfied with the teaching they received, based on the NSS
6. The feedback score is the percentage of final-years satisfied with feedback and assessment by lecturers, based on the NSS

From https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/may/23/how-to-use-the-guardian-university-guide-2017

(3)(0)

AnonEMouse

Both the QS and THE rankings use more objective methodologies which take into account the views of academics and the quality of research. Whilst not perfect, they are a heck of a lot more robust than the NSS.

QS’s rankings are reputation-driven, with 50 per cent of an institution’s score derived from surveys of 48,000 academics, which are then weighted to reduce regional biases.

THE’s methodology includes a wide variety of data points, including the number of citations in journals and other academic publications. It’s rankings and methodology are subject to independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

(1)(1)

AnonEMouse

its.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

You stick to your league tables and we at the discount end of the market can stick to ours. It’s interesting though that you mentioned factors like citations in journals, research reputation and so on. I am sure that the average undergraduate values such things over good teaching, being able to spend time with staff, staff who care about them and go the extra mile rather than their next publication that they must churn out to satisfy REF and so on. All important and robust indicators of good teaching quality for sure.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

FYI Solent got the full 5 Stars for teaching and inclusiveness and a creditable 4 stars for employability in QS rankings 🙂

(1)(0)

Andy Gray

Would you ?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Gotta give it to Solent, access for all!

(4)(0)

Anonymous

I think that the suspended sentence for Blackmail must have lapsed.

In the circumstances, if I had been prosecuting, I would have reminded the lecturer in support of the crime of perjury, and then applied for an adjournment so that it could be proved she was in the top 5 – 10 % of the year.

If she was a second year, then you would be able to place here in the year group very precisely, wouldn’t you ? Her aggregate exam results put her 8th out of 150, for example.

In this way you could eliminate the ridiculous notion that the lecturer had been bribed.

The Judge or the Prosecutor seem to have been poor in this case, the evidence of the argument would suggest that this was high level road rage and, this , particularly combined with a previous conviction for blackmail, she should have been put behind bars.

(7)(2)

Anonymous

Since when has Mail Online been a reliable source for anything ?

(0)(0)

Tywin

Perhaps the Judge and/or Lecturer were on tick for her previous services. Like the Lannisters, they must always pay their debts.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Did they teach you about Defamation or the Norwich Pharmacal order on your Law Degree ? Hopefully using free Wifi rather than at home or on a university network when you posted this.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Come on guys, no love for Judge Gary Burrell QC and his ‘top bants’ quip??!!!

(3)(0)

Jones Day trainee

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(3)

Richard Keyes

I wouldn’t.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

The Daily Fail has some photos of her.

Hard faced looking butch.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Nobody else see the other law connection? Pemsel? No? Heads of Pemsel? Still no? Charitable trusts? Oh, I give up.

Fookin students these days. Get taught nothing, learn nothing. Useless.

(0)(0)

Flabbergasted

Let’s get back on topic here guys.
A violent ‘former’ common prostitute and blackmailer studying law…. Really?
The things some unis will do for £9,000 a year….
Also, why wasn’t she charged with S18 OAPA?

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Clearly she has anger management issues, but has already been tried and convicted of her offences – do you suggest that the University says what many legal organisations would say “Oh she’s not our sort of person”. To be frank that why the law is the elitist and largely exclusive disgrace it is today. She won’t be able to do the LPC due to character and conviction issues, and woe betide anyone actually trying to turn their life around and provide an example to their children through education and bettering themselves despite what sort of past they have had.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

“Common Prostitute” so she gets £150 an hour tax free in her pocket for making people happy, something she was apparently very good at as according to The Daily Fail the doctor rebooked her 6 times, while our firms hire us trainees out at similar rates and all we normally do is cause misery and dispute. Society values skewed much do you think ?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

100% the university should say “oh, she’s not our sort of person”. I have nothing against people trying to better themselves but perhaps common prostitutes studying for a degree in which they have no hope of future employment is one step too far. Would you want your 18 yr old son or daughter studying with her?
“She won’t be able to do the LPC due to character and conviction issues”
No, of course she won’t, she lacks morals and integrity, no-one in their right mind would employ her or want her representing them.
As for setting an example to her children, her violent behaviour dates back well over 10 years prior to this offence. I also note from the Daily Mail article that she is a “Mother of Two” yet the judge stated she is only responsible for an 8 yr old son – perhaps she could give a lecture on family law…

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Voted Conservative and read the Daily Fail do you ? As long as she behaved herself at University I would have no issues with my offspring studying with her. If she took a step out of line then the student disciplinary procedure all Universities have would deal with her. Chances are in every year in most universities there are people with criminal records or engaging in criminal activites, like prostitution, drug use etc. The only real difference here is that this individual was unfortunate enough, due to the salacious nature of her activities with the doctor, made the pages of the Daily Fail. Trial by media is always so reliable !

You have a very narrow view of employment possible with a law degree, as do most of the posters on here, you really should have paid more attention in careers classes, if you had them which I doubt. An LLB isn’t just about Solicitor/Barrister and never has been.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

” As long as she behaved herself at University I would have no issues with my offspring studying with her. If she took a step out of line then the student disciplinary procedure all Universities have would deal with her.”
Seems we agree on that.

You paint a very grim picture of universities populated by convicted criminals, druggies & prostitutes.
If that is the case I fear for our future.

As for Ms Davies/Kennedy If she hadn’t decided to blackmail him out of £10,000 it’s unlikely that “the salacious nature of her activities with the doctor” would ever have been discovered.

We’re not talking here about someone getting a parking fine or being caught with a bit of weed, this “unfortunate” individual apparently has previous convictions for assault, prostitution, blackmail and now dangerous driving and an 18 month ban – I would suggest that she is the architect of her own fortune.

It’s also interesting to note that no-one has mentioned her road rage victim
“The motorcyclist, who was 22 at the time, was hospitalised and was treated for multiple wrist fractures, a dislocated shoulder, ligament damage, and a severely bruised and swollen hand.” It is reported that he also lost his job as a result of the incident.
I wonder if he considers a suspended sentence sufficient punishment for his suffering?

Finally, do I detect the faint whiff of a burgeoning superiority complex in the personal insult “you really should have paid more attention in careers classes, if you had them which I doubt”?

(2)(1)

Anonymous

I would agree she is the architect of her own misfortune and has been punished for that deservedly so, she was very lucky indeed not to do time.

My point is she HAS been punished, should she be expelled from University for what happens outside university, or refused entry in the first place. If she for example assaulted someone on university premises her feet shouldn’t touch the floor, I would hope. Some offences externally should be taken into account, but where to draw this line is difficult.

i am actually surprised we are discussing this given that the only factual information we have is from the Daily Mail, what don’t we know that e.g. her lecturer and the court did ? Trial by media. This includes past offences.

As for the superiority complex, possibly. All I see discussed here are training contracts and pupillages which require a clean (ish) record and for which she has little chance admittedly. With another name change and a move to another town she could get a paralegal type role fairly easily I would imagine.

(2)(1)

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