Could identity of “high-profile barrister” be revealed?
The tabloid press aren’t happy about the anonymity granted to the top female barrister caught in the midst of a very public sexual encounter with a married lawyer.
In a scathing Daily Mail article published over the weekend, the “attractive female QC” was slammed for “using the courts to keep her identity secret”, while pictures of Graeme Stening — the City lawyer she was caught with — were splashed across the press.
It’s pretty embarrassing stuff. The pair were reportedly arrested after private equity specialist Stening was found “allegedly exposed and touching himself — and the woman — in an intimate fashion” outside Waterloo station and during rush hour.
After being left to sober up in a police cell that night, the female QC accepted a police caution for outraging public decency. Stening — denying any wrongdoing — didn’t, hence his case is currently being dragged through the criminal court system, with a trial pencilled in for 23 June.
The Mail’s gripe is this: six weeks after accepting a caution for her involvement in the rush hour tryst, the QC claimed that she had been sexually assaulted. Because of this, she is now entitled to anonymity under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, and cannot be named by the press. The ex-Simmons & Simmons lawyer accused of engaging in sexual activity with her is not, and has felt the full force of the press for his involvement in the case.
So, beyond reports that she is a middle-aged “high-profile barrister”, the world is left to frustratingly ponder the identity of this anonymous QC. And the latest twist in the tale is this:
[A] rising tide of support, both in the legal world and beyond, is growing for Mr Stening and the blatant unfairness in the way the law is protecting the woman, while throwing him to the wolves.
Anonymity in criminal trials has proven a controversial talking point in recent months, and it seems this case has prompted even more commentary and debate. Citing an anonymous source, the paper claims the unknown woman alleged assault “because she was desperate to keep the pair’s drunken romp a secret”.
Motoring law specialist Nick Freeman — aka Mr Loophole — was on hand with a quote:
It’s possible, of course, that what this woman says is true but I find it astonishing that a QC would accept a caution for something which is extremely embarrassing and then change her mind and point the finger of blame at the person she was sexually engaging with.
She’s a QC so she knew what she was doing… If what she says is true, then why did she accept a caution for an offence she hadn’t committed?
Rush hour romp: Married City lawyer accused of having sex with top QC at Waterloo station [Legal Cheek]
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