Miss Sky Bibi
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Sky Bibi, a barrister and BSB regulated person, behaved in a way which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in her or in the profession and/or acted in a way which could reasonably be seen by the public to undermine her honesty and integrity in that: Between 13 April 2015 and 6 September 2016, she was required to but failed to disclose a change in financial circumstances, namely a change of employment status and receipt of income, which she knew would affect her entitlement to a council tax benefit, or affect the amount of any reduction in council tax payments under the council tax reduction scheme of Manchester City Council (“the Council”). The failure to disclose the change in circumstances was contrary to Regulation 8(1) of the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013 (“the Regulations”). This resulted in Sky Bibi receiving an overpayment of £1,054.24 to which she was not entitled. Sky Bibi was convicted on 6 December 2018 of an offence under Regulation 8 of the Regulations, at Cheshire Magistrates’ Court, having pleaded not guilty. Sky Bibi was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge, a fine of £1000 and victim surcharge of £20. (The aforementioned sentence was later varied on appeal by way of re-hearing to the Crown Court sitting at Chester, on 13 September 2019, to a 12-month Community Order with a curfew requirement (operative 7pm-7am daily for 28 days), a costs order of £25,00 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85).
Sky Bibi, a barrister and BSB regulated person, behaved in a way which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in her or in the profession and/or acted on a way which could reasonably be seen by the public to undermine her honesty and integrity, in that, following her appeal by way of re-hearing to the Crown Court sitting at Chester on 12 and 13 September 2019, Sky Bibi gave evidence and made submissions at that hearing on the subject matter of her appeal (her liability under Regulation 8 of the Regulations). It was the judgment of the Court, that the appeal be dismissed and that Sky Bibi’s sentence increased to a 12-month Community Order with a curfew requirement (operative 7pm-7am daily for 28 days), a costs order of £25,00 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85. In delivering the judgment, Recorder Hannon recorded the Court’s findings that Sky Bibi had dishonestly stated in evidence that: (i) She had disclosed all of her bank accounts to the Council when completing the initial claim form at the Council; (ii) She had taken evidence of all of her bank statements to the Council; (iii) She had declared all of the sums relied upon by the Respondent and/or listed in the schedule used by the Crown Court in the appeal to the Council either over the phone or in person; (iv) The process of presenting documents to the Council had changed since 2015, including that in 2015 Council officers did not always scan the documents, and/or when they did scan documents they sometimes they returned the original to her and sometimes did not; (v) She had attended the Council Offices in or around September 2014 to provide documents and that these included bank statements for her five different bank accounts; (vi) She had not worked for PLS; and (vii) Sums received by Sky Bibi and relied upon by the Council and considered by the Court received had not been for legal work. Sky Bibi did make each or all of these statements to the Court and, either individually or in combination, they were untrue.