A JUDGE rebuked the defence lawyer in the trial of a Blackwood dangerous driver for dressing “like something out of Harry Potter”.
After the defendant was taken down, the judge asked Andreiz Wojcicki’s lawyer why he was wearing ribbons on his gown and calling himself Lord Harley of Counsel.
Lord Harley, whose LinkedIn profile gives the name Alan Blacker, said he inherited his title from his father in Ireland. He said he had earned the colourful medals on his gown during voluntary service with St John’s Ambulance.
He represented Andrzej Wojcicki, 45, who was found guilty on Thursday of causing the death of 30-year-old cyclist Owain James, from Oakdale, last year and sentenced to five years in prison.
But Judge David Wynn Morgan told him: “If you want to come into court looking like something out of Harry Potter, you can forget coming to this court ever again.”
Turning to prosecuting barrister Nicholas Gareth Jones at Cardiff Crown Court he asked: “Have you ever seen a barrister or solicitor appear before the courts wearing a medal or badges sewn on his robes?”
Mr Jones replied he had not.
Judge Morgan said: “Here in South Wales we had a barrister, who later became a judge, who had won during the Battle of Normandy the highest order of gallantry the Victoria Cross.”
Again turning to Mr Jones he asked, “Did you ever see him wearing a medal?”
Mr Jones again replied no.
Judge Morgan said: “He would have considered it the height of vulgarity for such a thing to be done. If you ever appear before this court again dressed as you are, I shall exercise my right to decline to hear you.
“I didn’t raise any of these matters during the trial because I am mindful of the fact a young man has died and I did not want to interfere with the dignity of the proceedings.”
Alan Blacker, or Lord Harley, said he had been told by Lord Chief Justice Thompson that it was appropriate to wear the medals on his robes.
But Judge Morgan said: “To my certain knowledge, since I started practicing there has been no Lord Chief Justice in England, Scotland or Wales called Thompson.”
He said the lawyer had sent an email to the court signed ‘Doctor The Right Honourable Lord Harley of Counsel’.
But he suggested it was inappropriate for the lawyer to style himself ‘of counsel’ if he was a solicitor advocate and not a barrister.
Judge Morgan retired from the courtroom before the lawyer could protest.
Lord Harley asked the clerk to pass him a message saying: “I am very, very disappointed by his closing remarks.”
He said he was regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and a member of The Solicitors’ Association of Higher Courts Advocates.