Lawyer in Nigel Evans trial referred to Attorney General by judge for contempt of court
A barrister friend of Nigel Evans allegedly jeopardised his trial with an “irresponsible” blog on the internet.
David Cameron became the most senior Conservative to congratulate Mr Evans after the independent MP for Ribble Valley was found not guilty at Preston Crown Court on Thursday.
Henry Hendron was said by trial judge Mr Justice King to have committed “a very serious contempt of court”.
Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said the online comments had caused at least one of the alleged victims to consider pulling out of the trial.
Mr Hendron told the court he would also be reporting himself to the Bar Council after possibly jeopardising the trial process.
“I am deeply, deeply sorry. I’ve unintentionally caused this issue. I’m not a criminal barrister, I’m a civil barrister. I put a blog online yesterday afternoon with the full intention of creating an upbeat mood for my friend Nigel Evans.”
Mr Hendron said he got the idea after some friends of Oscar Pistorius did the same during his trial in South Africa.
He said he did not appreciate it may be a contempt of court and he took the blog post down “straight away” once Mr Wright pointed this out.
“I just did not put my mind to it,” he added. “I shall be self-reporting myself to the Bar Council… for this lapse of judgment.”
Mr Justice King said he would refer the matter to the Attorney General’s office.
A spokesman for the Attorney General said: “This matter had been brought to the attention of the Attorney General, but it was decided that proceedings for a potential contempt of court were not required in this case.”
Mr Hendron, 34, is a member of Strand Chambers which states on its website “Our barristers have decades of experience in legal research, advice and representation.”