Henry Hendron returns to practice three years after drug conviction
Barrister was suspended in 2016 after admitting possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply following boyfriend’s death
A junior barrister who was suspended from the profession following a conviction for ‘chemsex’ drug offences has returned to the bar, telling Legal Cheek of his “massive relief” to be back.
And Henry Hendron, formerly of Strand Chambers, London, is already in action. He has been instructed by two ex-cons threatening court action against Lottery operator Camelot for refusing to pay out their winnings.
Mark Goodram and Jon-Ross Watson scooped the winning jackpot on a £4 million Lotto scratchcard on Easter Monday. However, Camelot halted payout over fears the ticket was purchased using a stolen debit card. The duo, dubbed ‘The Blotto Lads’, deny the claim and have threatened to sue. Hendron is representing the unemployed twosome, who have a string of previous convictions between them, for free but will receive a cut — believed to be up to £1.5 million — if they win in court. Hendron told The Sun:
“My clients have been very open and upfront about their upbringing in care homes and hard struggles in life, including previous substance misuse problems, which both have tried really hard to overcome. Camelot is in effect holding my clients ransom to their past.”
The scratchcard was purchased using a debit card at Waitrose in Clapham, South London. The pair set alarm bells ringing when they contacted Lotto officials to claim the mega-million prize — and revealed neither of them has a bank account. They initially said they paid for the ticket themselves but then claimed a mystery pal named “John” paid for it, providing no further details except that he had disappeared “up North”. Police are not investigating any wrongdoing in connection with the jackpot claim.
Hendron was arrested in January 2015 after his boyfriend, Miguel Jimenez, was found dead with drugs in his system. He later pleaded guilty to possession of controlled drugs — ‘chemsex’ substances mephedrone and gamma-butyrolactone — with intent to supply and was suspended from practice for three years by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) in April 2017 (backdated to May 2016).
In May 2018, Legal Cheek reported that Hendron had taken to Facebook to sell £4,000 “legal advice for life” packages, to “raise some dosh before I return to practice as a barrister on the 17th May 2019”.
Having now returned to practice, Hendron, who was called to the bar in 2006, told Legal Cheek:
“It’s a massive relief to return to the bar after having battled with the BSB for years. I’m conscious that you deskill after a while and so it feels good to be back and cut my teeth into real, difficult cases. I’ve received some good responses and some not so good — with some describing me as ‘damaged goods’ but one has to expect it. It doesn’t bother me if people don’t have the confidence to instruct me. I already have a busy diary; I am focusing on moving forward and making money again.”
The BSB commented:
“Mr Hendron’s suspension ended on 17 May 2019. With the end of the suspension he was entitled to practise in the normal way without restrictions. Our records show that he now has a practising certificate.”
The BSB added that Hendron is due to appear before a disciplinary tribunal on a separate matter on Thursday 25-Friday 26 July 2019. A charge sheet on the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication website states that Hendron is accused of “behaving in a way which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in a barrister or in the profession” and “failing to comply with a decision of the Legal Ombudsman”.
Hendron has represented a number of high-profile clients including Conservative politician Nadine Dorries, The Apprentice winner Stella English and the Earl of Cardigan.
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