UK PM's speechwriter awaits sentence

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

An English lawyer has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. He faked a legal judgment and sent it to a father who was pleading in Taunton family court to be able to remain involved in his child's upbringing. The lawyer, London barrister Bruce Hyman, now awaits his sentence. The judge indicated that he could receive a prison sentence. Bruce Hyman is well-known in media circles, having produced The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on BBC Radio. He also produced a series with Clive Anderson, at Above the Title Productions, called Unreliable Evidence.

The father, a former City financier, had attended a series of court hearings in order to make suitable arrangements to see his child following an acrimonious divorce. Shortly before one of these hearings he received an email, ostensibly from a self-help group to which he belonged, which had attached a Court of Appeal case that appeared favourable to an application he had made for the judge to stand down from the case. The father, who was representing himself, duly showed the case to the judge. At this point, Bruce Hyman, the lawyer representing the former wife, claimed to the judge that the case was a forgery, which indeed it turned out to be.

After confirming that the self-help group had not sent him the email, the father then embarked on some detective work his own. The fraudulent email was traced via its header to a dial-up internet connection and a phone number belonging to a shop in London. The shop was able to recover CCTV footage which showed a man sending the email from an Apple laptop. The man turned out to be Bruce Hyman.

Sentencing of Hyman is due in Bristol Crown Court on the 19th of September.

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