Mr Robert Michael Kearney

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Barrister Status:
Suspended
Called:
Nov 1996
Inn:
Inner Temple
Hearing type:
Disciplinary Tribunal (5 Person)
Decision date
19/07/2023
Breach details:
Professional misconduct contrary to Rule rc8 and Core Duty 5 of the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales (9th Edition), contained in Part 2 of the Bar Standards Board Handbook ((Version 3.3))
Offence details:

Robert Kearney, a barrister and BSB regulated person, behaved in a way which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in him or in the profession, in that, during the course of a mini pupillage between 23 and 26 July 2018 with Person A, in which he was in a position of trust, he engaged in the conduct set out in Schedule A towards Person A, such conduct, taken either individually or in combination of one or more instance, being sexually discriminatory conduct and conduct of a sexually harassing nature.

Robert Kearney, a barrister and BSB regulated person, behaved in a way which could reasonably be seen by the public to undermine his integrity, in that, during the course of a mini pupillage between 23 and 26 July 2018 with Person A, in which he was in a position of trust, he engaged in the conduct set out in Schedule A towards Person A, such conduct, taken either individually or in combination of one or more instance, being sexually discriminatory conduct and conduct of a sexually harassing nature.

Schedule A

1. Mr Kearney made the following comments, or words to that effect, to Person A:

i. on 23 July 2018, after a sentencing hearing at Crown Square in Manchester, in a video conference room after a video conference link to a prison, “the dress you are wearing is very nice, where is it from?”

ii. on 23 July 2018, walking down the concourse after the video conference, there passed another woman dressed in a brightly coloured track suit. Mr Kearney looked Person A up and down and said, “I bet you would look good in that”; and

iii. on 26th July 2018, in response to Person A saying that she could not attend a planned social gathering after the court hearing with other barristers who were parties to the trial in which Mr Kearney was a junior, he said, “That’s a shame. I put on clean boxers just for you”.

2. Mr Kearney engaged in unwanted touching of Person A in that, on 23 July 2018, following the alleged comment in 1 (i) above, he pulled down the back of the dress of Person A in an attempt to read the label on the dress.

Sanction:
Disbarred (sentence to take effect). Prohibited from obtaining a practising certificate pending appeal.
Status:
Appeal Pending