Boxing Day burglary: Bradford law student ‘decimates’ legal career hopes as he’s handed a suspended sentence

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By Katie King on

But SRA says otherwise

A 20-year-old studying for his law degree at the University of Bradford has been convicted of burgling a family home on Boxing Day.

Approximately £1,600 worth of goods was stolen during last December’s break-in, including electronics and sentimental jewellery belonging to the victim’s deceased mother. None of it has been recovered, prosecutor Ashleigh Metcalfe of Zenith Chambers told Bradford Crown Court yesterday.

According to local reports in the Telegraph & Argus, Usmaan Rashid was on bail for handling stolen goods at the time of the offence, but these original allegations were not followed up. He was arrested for the December heist in January after a DNA test linked him to blood found at the victim’s house. Rashid pleaded guilty last month, claiming others were involved and he’d played a “subordinated role” in the crime. Defence barrister Christopher Dunn, of Park Square Barristers, described Rashid’s involvement as “20 minutes of sheer lunacy.”

Though Rashid could have been banged up for his crime, Judge Penelope Belcher decided against it. She handed him a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, plus 150 hours unpaid work and a curfew.

Perhaps Belcher’s seemingly lenient sentence can be at least partially explained by this: Dunn told the court Rashid’s potential legal career had been “decimated” by his conviction.

However, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) thinks otherwise. An SRA spokesperson this morning confirmed to Legal Cheek that every application to the profession “is dealt with on its merits”, and that there “are no convictions or otherwise that lead to an automatic refusal.”

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