May 2016

Solicitor struck off for indecent images offences

A solicitor has been struck off the roll of solicitors after being convicted of two offences involving the use of indecent images of children.

John Urquhart, 68 of Kirkcaldy, who had retired from practice but remained on the roll, was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal after being convicted on indictment of two offences under s 52 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

These involved the downloading from the internet of 75 images over a three year period to 2013, and sharing several of them with other people.

He was given a community payback order and placed on the sex offenders register after pleading guilty to making and distributing indecent images of children.

He was also made subject to the notification requirements for sex offenders for a three year period. 

In its decision the tribunal said that if the public were to have trust in the profession, it had to observe a high standard of conduct, and this requirement of integrity applied equally to a solicitor’s private life as it did to his professional conduct.

This type of offending behaviour was considered by society to be serious and abhorrent, and the tribunal had no hesitation in unanimously finding the respondent guilty of professional misconduct.