Pupillage-less Bar grad can’t call himself a ‘barrister’ anymore after he endangered helicopter with laser pen

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By Alex Aldridge on

An “unregistered barrister” has been struck off for the somewhat unconventional professional faux pas of endangering a police helicopter…

Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) graduate Mohammed Riaz will no longer be able to call himself a barrister after the Bar Standards Board (BSB) took action against him for having “recklessly acted in a manner likely to endanger a West Midland Police helicopter” by shining a laser pen at the cockpit.

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the only punishment Riaz has received for his antics, which date back to 2011, having been sentenced to eight months in prison last year after pleading guilty to breaching the Civil Aviation Act at Birmingham Crown Court.

The Bar professional disciplinary tribunal also found that Riaz had failed to declare two previous convictions for handling stolen goods when obtaining admission as a student member of Middle Temple in 2008.

In the wake of the hearing — at which Riaz was not present — BSB head of professional conduct Sara Down said: “Mr Riaz acted dishonestly and with astonishing recklessness. It is the best outcome for the public that he is no longer a member of the profession.”

Riaz’s striking off follows that of fellow pupillage-less Bar graduate Bryan McNaught last month after he used his “barrister” title to commit a string of fraud offences.