Climbie barrister broke rules

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The Independent Online

A black barrister involved in the Victoria Climbie inquiry was found guilty yesterday of breaching the Bar Council's code of conduct by expressing his own opinions to the media.

A black barrister involved in the Victoria Climbie inquiry was found guilty yesterday of breaching the Bar Council's code of conduct by expressing his own opinions to the media.

Peter Herbert was found guilty after his client, the social worker Carol Baptiste, was convicted of contempt of court and fined £500 for failing to give evidence into the public inquiry into Victoria's death. In a radio interview after the fallout from the inquiry into the death of the eight-year-old, Mr Herbert described the verdict as "institutional racism".

Lord Laming, who conducted the Climbie inquiry, complained to the Bar Council, claiming Mr Herbert's views were his own and therefore broke the barristers' code of conduct.

Mr Herbert rejected the claim, insisting he had been speaking on behalf of Ms Baptiste. He faces a maximum penalty of three months suspension from the Bar.