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Child porn barrister who claimed Nazis planned to blow up the Queen fails to overturn disbarment

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No return to the bar for Michael Shrimpton

Barrister
📸 Michael Shrimpton

A barrister who falsely told the authorities that a Nazi-affiliated terrorist group planned to blow up the Queen at the 2012 Olympics has failed in a High Court challenge against being disbarred.

Michael Shrimpton, who also has a conviction for possessing indecent images of children, was handed a 12-month jail sentence back in 2015 over a hoax call to the Ministry of Defence. The ex-Tanfield Chambers advocate told officials that terrorists had retrieved a nuclear weapon from a sunken Russian submarine and were plotting an attack on Her Majesty during the 2012 London Olympics. A disciplinary tribunal later chucked him out of the bar.

Challenging the tribunal’s disbarment decision in the High Court, Shrimpton argued that he should have been allowed to produce evidence that would have proven his innocence. He had reportedly turned up at the tribunal hearing carrying a giant admiralty map showing the route taken by the terrorists to bring the nuclear bomb to London.

Shrimpton also claimed that the child pornography had been planted by crypto-Nazis to discredit him, which he sought to prove with the aid of technical reports by a “forensic examiner of digital systems”.

But Mrs Justice Jefford said that Shrimpton’s pitch would have allowed him to “re-run before the Tribunal every argument and defence that he had sought unsuccessfully to rely on in two sets of criminal proceedings (and appeals) and adduce every piece of evidence that he had previously sought to rely on”.

Dismissing the appeal, she added:

“Mr Shrimpton appears to believe that he can endlessly adduce further evidence and that the mere production of such evidence is sufficient to mean that the Tribunal ought to have gone behind his convictions and considered all matters afresh. That is unsustainable.”

It also emerged in the judgment that Shrimpton has requested a Royal Pardon, but to no avail.

While this may be the end of the line for Shrimpton career-wise, he leaves behind a potent legacy: Brexit. He represented the appellants in the famous Metric Martyrs case, Thoburn v Sunderland City Council , in which several market traders were successfully prosecuted for refusing to measure their goods in EU-mandated kilograms rather than pounds. Both the facts of the case and the judgment entrenching the supremacy of EU law became a Eurosceptic rallying cry in the 2000s.

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