Barrister who groped colleague’s breasts after a night out and then asked his fiancee to lie to him to cover his tracks was kicked out.
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 woman, in her twenties and 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.
Farquharson finally returned home at 4am. His furious partner confronted him and demanded to know what he was up to.
The next evening, he sent a text to the woman asking her if she would help him by replying to my text tomorrow. He simply stated that he had lost contact with her at 1:45. After you had an altercation with one of the bouncers, you left. I hope you feel OK .”’
Barrister Kevin Farquharson (45), was disbarred for sexually assaulting a younger colleague at a night out in Bristol, 2019.
Farquharson (45) was disbarred after a hearing held at the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service in Gray’s Inn London. It was heard that he had sexually assaulted his colleague on a night out.
The woman’s ordeal ended when the bar staff intervened to remove him from 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 of the Bar Standards Board stated that “This is an awful case from start-to-finish.”
‘On one hand, we had a young lady who was great friend with the respondent. He no doubt saw her most days in an professional context and it is fair that they were friends.
“For good reasons, like people do, they decided that they would go out, let their hair down on a evening, and then, sadly, drink the events that took place.”
The tribunal was told that Farquharson was out for dinner and drinks with work colleagues when he decided to cancel the pre-booked taxi and instead moved on to Kongs bar in the city’s upmarket King Street along with his young colleague.
The attack took place in Bristol’s Kongs bar.
“The real question was, what was going on in his mind at that point? Because as far as we can see, that is the point when things tipped over the rail,” said Mr Ruffell.
“We think it was because he was keenly interested in A, all which started from that point on.”
He touched the breasts of a woman while they were taking 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, he approached her on the dance floor to touch her breasts and bottom several times.
Farquharson ignored his pleas for her to stop, which included her loudly telling Farquharson that he was sexually abusing her.
The panel was told that Farquharson once pinned Farquharson’s arms to her sides and demanded that she kiss his face.
“She went to a bar and he went against the back of her at the bar, touching the vaginal area above her clothes.
Mr Ruffell said, “She had wriggle free.”
The bartender suggested that she shelter in the bathroom while the bouncers removed the lawyer.
Despite her ordeal, she declined the bar staff’s invitation to involve police because she did not want to get her friend in trouble.
Mr Ruffell referred to her victim impact statement and said that she was traumatized due to her perseverance and the fact he didn’t seem to take no for an answers, since it was only after the interference by other events ended.
Later that weekend, Farquharson texted a senior colleague to ask him to claim he was there when the bouncer arrived.
Farquharson admitted to sending the messages, but denied that they were professional misconduct. He claimed that his mental health had impaired his judgment.
Panel members were told that Farquharson was suffering from reactive attachment disorder as well as post-traumatic stress disorder. This was due to childhood traumas.
He stated to the panel that the woman had briefly advised him of his actions during a conversation the morning following the events, but that he didn’t realize the full extent.
He said, “I was pretty overwhelmed.” I didn’t know Ms. A was upset at that point, but I was quite upset.
“She hadn’t expressed to me that she was upset. It was a revelation to what she had said. Because of my fear of losing my family, I was in a very poor mental state.
He explained to the panel that therapists had told him that he was ‘not able think rationally’ due to his medical conditions.
Farquharson, who was admitted to the Bar in 2011, said, “I spoke to Ms A. My whole mind exploded when I heard what she said to my,”
“It is unbelievable, absolutely amazing to hear, and absolutely terrifying to imagine what could happen with our family.”
He admitted that he asked A for a partial account in the scripted message he requested her to send, but said it wasn’t meant to lie about the incident.
Farquharson said, “It was confirmation of the time that I had left, and I had not left with them, and that is what I did in response,”
The disgraced barrister burst into tears and told the panel that he had always tried his best to be a good person, and that the incident was out of character for him.
He stated, “I am still in shock after two years.”
“I am devastated to have upset Ms. A in the way that I did. I also regret the profession that allowed me to go to work and get a job that I never would have because of my past.
Judge Witold Pawlak, the tribunal chair, found all charges proved and ordered Farquharson to be disbarred.
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.’
Farquharson, dressed in a navy suit and a hat, bowed his head as the announcement was made.