A barrister who groped a colleague’s breasts during a night out and then asked her to lie to help him cover his tracks with his fiancee has been kicked out of the profession.

Kevin Farquharson (45), sexually assaulted the woman in a photo booth at a Bristol city centre bar in the early hours on September 28, 2019.

The 25-year-old woman, referred to as A, asked him ‘what the f***’ he was doing,’ but he repeatedly grabbed her breasts and buttocks on the dancefloor.

Farquharson ignored Farquharson’s desperate attempts to stop him, touched her crotch and pulled her arms down before forcing her to kiss him. The Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service were notified.

Barrister Kevin Farquharson, 45, has been disbarred after sexually assaulting a 25-year-old female colleague during a night out in Bristol in 2019

Barrister Kevin Farquharson (45), was disbarred after he sexually assaulted a female colleague, 25, during a night out to Bristol in 2019.

Farquharson, 45,was disbarred after a hearing at the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service, located in Gray's Inn, London, heard he sexually assaulted a colleague on a night out

Farquharson, 45 years old, was disbarred following a hearing at Gray’s Inn’s Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service. He sexually assaulted a colleague during a night out

The woman’s ordeal only came to an end when staff at the bar stepped in to remove him as the woman hid in the bathroom.

Farquharson was given a two-month suspended sentence after admitting sexual assault in court, ordered to pay the woman £1,800 in compensation and put on the sexual offenders’ register for seven years.

Mark Ruffell, for the Bar Standards Board, said: ‘This is a sad case from start to finish.

‘On the one hand, we have a young lady who was great friends with the respondent, no doubt saw him most days in a professional context, and it is fair to say they were friends.

‘For good reasons, as people do, they decided to go out, let their hair down on the evening and then sadly through drink the events took place.’

The tribunal was told that Farquaharson was out for dinner and drinks with work colleagues when he decided to cancel the pre-booked taxi and instead moved on to Kong’s Bar in the city’s upmarket King Street with his young coworker.

The assault took place during a night out in Kong's bar in Bristol city centre

The assault occurred during a night out at Kong’s Bar in Bristol city centre

‘The real question was what was going on in his head at that point, because as far as we can see that is the point where things tipped off the rail,’ said Mr Ruffell.

‘We would suggest it was because he was taking a keen interest on A, all of which started to manifest itself from that point on.’

He put his hands on the woman’s breasts while they were taking some pictures in a photobooth.

‘She says ‘what the f**** are you doing’, which you might consider a spot on thing to say from the woman to a man she considered a friend and work colleague going straight over the boundaries,’ said Mr Ruffell.

After she left him, the man approached her on a dance floor and touched her breasts and bottom on several occasions.

Farquaharson ignored his pleas for her to stop, which included her loudly telling Farquaharson that he was sexually attacking her.

The panel was told that Farquaharson once pinned Farquaharson’s arms to her sides and demanded that she kiss his face.

‘She went to the bar and he went against her back at the bar, touching her vaginal area over her clothes.

‘She had to wriggle free,’ said Mr Ruffell.

The bartender advised her to shelter in the toilets while the bouncers removed the lawyer.

Despite her ordeal, the woman declined the bar staff’s offers to get police involved not wanting to get her colleague in trouble.

Referring to her victim impact statement, Mr Ruffell said: ‘She is effectively saying she was traumatised due to the perseverance and the fact that he didn’t appear to take no for an answer, since it was only after the interference of others events came to an end.’

After he eventually stumbled back home at 4am, Farquharson was confronted by his ‘furious’ partner, demanding to know what he had been up to.

The following evening, he sent the woman a text saying ‘Would you help me by responding to my text tomorrow by simply stating “We lost sight of you at about 1:45. After you had a run-in with one the bouncers, your departure was final. I hope you are feeling ok.”’

Later that weekend, he texted a senior colleague, asking him to claim he was with him when the bouncer arrived should Farquaharson’s partner call him.

Farquaharson admitted that he sent the messages, but denied they were professional misconduct. Farquaharson claimed that his mental illness had affected his judgement.

Panel members were informed that Farquaharson was diagnosed as having reactive attachment disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. This was due to childhood experiences.

He said to the panel that the woman had briefly told him about his actions in a conversation the day after the events but that he hadn’t realized the full extent of what had happened.

Representing himself, he said: ‘I was pretty overwhelmed.

‘At that point I did not know Ms A was upset, but I was pretty upset.

‘She had not expressed to me she was upset, it was a revelation to me what she had said.

‘I was in in a very poor state of mind because of the fear of losing my family.’

He told the panel that due to his medical diagnoses, he was told by therapists he was in a ‘compromised’ state mind and ‘not able to think rationally’.

‘I spoke to Ms A and my whole mind exploded when she said to me what she said to me,’ said Farquaharson, who was called to the Bar in 2011.

‘It is incredible, absolutely incredible to hear, absolutely terrifying to contemplate what could happen with my family.’

He admitted he asked A to give a ‘partial account’ in the scripted message he asked her to send but said it was not meant to deliberately lie about the incident.

‘It was a confirmation of the time I had left and I had not left with her, and that is what she did in response,’ said Farquaharson.

The disgraced barrister burst into tears as he told the panel he had always tried to be a good person and the incident was ‘out of character’ for him.

‘I am still two years later in shock,’ he said.

‘I am absolutely devastated to have upset Ms A the way I upset her and the profession that gave me the opportunity to get somewhere I would never get because of my background.’

Judge Witold Pawlak was the tribunal chair and found all charges to be true and ordered Farquaharson be expelled.

He said: ‘Our decision is that the sanction on the three charges should be disbarment on each, that the costs should be paid in full, namely the amount of £2,100 with 28 days to pay.’

Farquaharson, wearing a navy suit, buried his face in his hands as the decision was announced.