An experienced barrister who sent a threatening email to a colleague in an attempt to influence a tenancy application has been reprimanded by a disciplinary tribunal.
Andrew Rutter was in an “extreme state of intoxication” when he fired off an email to a chamber mate on or around 15 July 2018, according to a ruling published by The Bar Tribunals & Adjudication Service.
The email reportedly read:
“If you were to persist with your opposition then I will reveal that which you would rather keep secret. You and [a named colleague]. Feel free.”
The three-person tribunal said that the criminal barrister’s email was reasonably interpreted as a “threat” and an attempt to “influence” the vote of a tenancy application of a pupil candidate.
It found that Rutter, who was called to the bar in 1990, had acted in a way which could reasonably be seen by the public to undermine his integrity and/or behaved in a way which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in a barrister or in the profession.
He was reprimanded for his conduct. The decision is open to appeal.