Barrister steals £81k...and keeps working

A BARRISTER who defended dodgy ex-Calderdale businessman Jack Darrell Henry had admitted stealing £81,000 just days before.

Henry, also known as Darrell Littlewood, boss of Council Tax Review, appeared at Bradford Crown Court for misleading customers.

Now, it has emerged his barrister, David Friesner, 46, appeared in the dock at Leeds Crown Court on January 12, where he admitted stealing the money from his own chambers.

He was released on bail and will be sentenced on February 10.

An MP has slammed a “ridiculous loophole” which allowed Friesner to represent Henry.

Leeds North West Lib-Dem MP Greg Mulholland will raise the matter at Justice’s Questions at the House of Commons.

He said: “I was astonished a barrister had been allowed to carry on defending people having been convicted of a serious criminal offence. This is a ridiculous loophole that must be closed.

“The fact that Jack Henry’s case was actually delayed, whilst his own barrister’s criminal case was heard, is a farce.

“Then for David Friesner to toddle back to defend Mr Henry, as a convicted criminal himself, is just extraordinary.”

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) delayed commencing disciplinary procedures against Friesner until his case has been concluded, leaving the barrister free to continue as a sole-practitioner until he is sentenced.

Henry, 45, now of Mirfield, previously ran Halifax debt recovery firm OCM. He admitted 14 counts of engaging in misleading commercial practice and received a nine-month suspended sentence and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work and pay £12,500 costs.

Yesterday, the Courier reported he faced fresh legal action as former employees take him to a tribunal. During last week’s case Friesner said his client was only trying to help people cut their bills but agreed his methods were “deeply flawed.”