Barrister convicted of ABH on journalist

An employed barrister at Bedford Borough Council has been granted a conditional discharge and fined after attacking a reporter

Andy Darkoh knocked reporter Oliver Adam from the Bedfordshire on Sunday newspaper to the ground then smashed his camera. Adam was left needing five stitches to a head wound, St Albans Crown Court heard.

The paper had been pursuing a story charting Darkoh’s attempts to bring a private county court action against a local pub for alleged racial discrimination, which Darkoh had felt was an invasion of his privacy. The reporter followed Darkoh down the high street in Bedford and called to him; as he turned round, Adam took his picture. Darkoh pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm to Adam and criminal damage to the camera.

“Taking a photograph does not amount to an invasion of privacy,” said Judge Findlay Baker. He passed a 12-month conditional discharge and Darkoh was ordered to pay costs of £150 and £200 compensation for the camera. Darkoh has no previous convictions and expressed regret at his actions.

Defence barrister Tamala McGee claimed that there was considerable background to the case. The council had previously lost a case fought by Darkoh for libel against the newspaper over an article claiming that maladministration had led to votes not being counted in a local election.