Followers of legal news may recall a memorable 2011 assault committed by a solicitor which saw her bite the arm of a woman and hang on “like a dog”. Frances Brough escaped with a community order for the offence — the culmination of a neighbour’s dispute which turned ugly.
Two years on and the former Law Society Council member has been at it again, attempting to bite police officers after they restrained her following a violent row with her elderly parents, and, in two further separate incidents, assaulting another police officer and harassing a neighbour. This time the 40 year-old has been sentenced to six months in prison…
The incident with Brough’s parents took place at their house in April following a disagreement over their will. As tensions rose, the solicitor lost her temper and spat in her parents’ faces and shouted and swore at them.
After police arrived, Brough transferred her aggression towards them, which led to her being physically restrained and handcuffed. While they carried her out to their vehicle, Brough spat at and tried to kick and bite the officers.
During the trial, Brough — who pleaded not guilty to the attack on her parents — was also found to have assaulted another police officer in a separate attack in March. In addition, she pleaded guilty to a separate charge of harassing another neighbour before assaulting her and her husband.
Sentencing Brough at Bedlington Magistrates Court yesterday, District Judge Bernard Begley said:
“In more ways than one, this is a very sad case. Not only from your perspective but more importantly from that of your victims. For you it is a spectacular fall from grace. The offences are of the utmost depravity.”
Brough’s barrister, John Brown, said his client has developed mental health problems since 2011. He told the court:
“Before then, she was a perfect member of society, she was on the panel, still is, as the representative of the North East of England on the Law Society. She had a promising career ahead of her with all the privileges that go with that.”
Brown added: “She is really sorry for all the harm she has caused to all the people.”