Drunk deputy head of chambers headbutted junior female colleague outside Calvin Klein underwear store

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By CJ McKinney on

Details of assault conviction for suspended Rashid Ahmed now revealed

King’s Road, Chelsea, London

A barrister recently suspended from the profession for assault had headbutted a female colleague outside the Calvin Klein underwear store in Chelsea, it has emerged.

Rashid Ahmed, who was deputy head of chambers at the time, left his colleague with “blood all over her face” as “panicked” bystanders called the police.

A Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service panel found that Ahmed had committed a serious breach of his professional duties, having been “involved in an assault upon another barrister who was a junior member in the chambers of which he was the Deputy Head of Chambers”.

Ahmed was in practice at Article 6 Law chambers, with an address at 2 King’s Bench Walk, but has now been suspended for three months.

Legal Cheek reported last week that Ahmed had been suspended for an assault, but the details of the offence have only now been revealed.

On 5 April 2018, according to the newly published disciplinary findings, Ahmed went to meet a female junior colleague at Article 6 Law to discuss “financial matters pertaining to his chambers”.

The Crown Court sentencing remarks describe what happened next:

“What appears to have happened, is the two of you, who in the past have had a close relationship — now, we are told, purely professional — had been out for meal together, and an alcohol-fuelled argument then occurred.”

Ahmed’s colleague, referred to as X, left the restaurant near London’s Sloane Square after he “hurled water and an astray”. But the “drunk” 40-year-old caught up with his victim outside the Calvin Klein shop, where he was “seen to grab her, to shake her, push her up against a pillar between two of the shop windows”.

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Ahmed then pushed X up against a parked car and aimed a headbutt at her. It missed — “that may well”, the judge said, “have been something to do with the amount of alcohol that you had been drinking”.

But a second headbutt connected, leaving X “on her back” with “blood all over her face”. Panicked eyewitnesses call the police, who handcuffed Ahmed after a short struggle. It was still only 6pm.

Ahmed, who was called to the bar in 2003, pleaded guilty to common assault two days later. He was initially handed a suspended prison sentence but managed to get that reduced to community service after an appeal to the Crown Court.

The bar disciplinary tribunal added a three-month suspension from practising as a barrister.

The tribunal took into account that Ahmed had been “under some financial pressure at time”, although it did not have a “direct impact upon the offending”.

It didn’t accept Ahmed’s argument that the headbutt occurred “in the heat of the moment”. The panel pointed out that the incident “occurred over an extended period of time… starting with an alcohol-fuelled argument over lunch”.

But there were a number of mitigating factors, including his guilty plea, genuine remorse and previous good character. The result was a three-month suspension, which can still be appealed.

Ahmed is not listed on the Article 6 Law website. The chambers has been approached for comment.

Earlier this month, barrister Stephen Joseph Sweeney was suspended for four months, also for assaulting a woman.

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