A former Pinner solicitor convicted of child pornography offences has been working with parents in court.
James-Guy Jacobs, of Pinner, was convicted of 10 counts of making indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of a child, five counts of taking indecent photographs and one count of possessing an indecent photograph or pseudo photograph of a child.
He was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court in November, 2012 to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for seven years.
In 2014, he was struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in a case brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
But he now offers to “assist families” in court hearings over “contact and residence” for kids.
Jacobs acts as a McKenzie Friend, which is a term used for anyone who accompanies a litigant in court to provide moral support – this allows them to take notes, give advice and see confidential documents.
When the SDT struck off Jacobs in 2014, it found that he had failed to uphold the rule of law, acted without integrity and acted in a way which was likely to diminish the trust which the public has in the profession.
The tribunal noted that Mr Jacobs had committed serious sexual offences involving children and that although he showed remorse, he had been oblivious to the effect of his behaviour on the children who were the subject of the photographs.
Jacobs told the tribunal he had been under a great deal of stress, both at home and at work and it was an error of otherwise good judgement. As well as being struck off, he was ordered to pay costs of £1,500.
Jennifer Johnson, SRA head of legal and enforcement, said at the time: “Any solicitor convicted of sexual offences involving children can expect to be dealt with severely. The public needs to be able to trust solicitors and all those who provide legal services.”
A Met Police spokesperson said: “The North West Command Unit are aware of a 52-year-old man who was reported to have been acting as a ‘McKenzie Friend’ to litigants in court cases.
“These actions were not in breach of the man’s conditions under the sex offenders register. No offences have been committed.”
Jacobs reportedly told The Sun: “If I thought it was illegal, I wouldn’t do it.”
Picture courtesy of Len Kerswill