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24 November 1998
A Cleveland barrister is being investigated by local police for spanking colleagues.It is believed that four pupils have made formal complaints for indecent assault, claiming that the barrister slapped their backsides whenever they were said to have made a mistake.Those involved are understandably reluctant to discuss the matter and no formal charge has yet been brought.No interviews of potential suspects are believed to have yet taken place.A spokeswoman for the Cleveland Police force confirmed that it has begun inquiries into "certain allegations involving members of the legal profession".However, she refused to make any further comment, because of the "sensitive nature of the allegations and the need to preserve the anonymity of those involved in terms of suspects and victims".If a criminal conviction is secured, under the Bar Council's code of conduct, the barrister would be duty bound to report it to them.An investigation would follow and then a hearing before the Bar Disciplinary Committee, the result of which would then be made public.
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