We should dance ‘crotch to crotch’: UKIP barrister fined £1,800 for inappropriate behaviour towards THREE women at chambers summer party

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By Thomas Connelly on

Ex-Zenith Chambers barrister poked one female in the breast area of her chest and attempted to kiss another


A barrister and member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) has been slapped with a £1,800 fine after it emerged he had acted inappropriately to three different women at a chambers summer party.

Stephen Howd (pictured above left) — who was a tenant at Zenith Chambers during the time of the incident — “failed to act with integrity and behaved in a way likely to diminish the trust and confidence the public places in a barrister”, during a summer party held in July 2014 by the Leeds-based set.

According to a Bar Standards Boards (BSB) disciplinary report published last week, Howd — who stood as the UKIP candidate for Scunthorpe in the 2015 general election — took the right hand of a woman referred to as “A” and “attempted to kiss her on or near the lips”.

In another incident — on the same evening and involving the same woman — Howd took A’s hand and “kept it on or near his crotch area for about five seconds until she was able to release her hand from his grip”.

The tribunal also heard how the commercial and property law specialist — who was initially suspended by UKIP after the incident was leaked to the press — grabbed the hand of another woman, referred to only as “B” in the report, and told her that they should dance “cheek to cheek” and then saying “no, crotch to crotch”.

According to the report Howd also referred to B as a “good girl” while poking her in the breast area of her chest.

Finally, the 49-year-old Oxford-educated barrister “pestered” a woman referred to a “C”, making her dance and telling her she looked “gorgeous” and even attempting to kiss her.

In March last year — just three days after his suspension from UKIP — Howd was allowed to return to the party. At the time the story broke a spokesperson for UKIP described the press coverage as a deliberate attempt to undermine Howd’s political campaign in Scunthorpe. Howd subsequently lost to Labour’s Nic Dakin.

The barrister — who is no longer a member of Zenith Chambers but operates his own law firm called Howd Law — was fined £1,800 and ordered to pay costs of £400. The decision is open to appeal.