The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered that Brent William Thomson of Auckland be struck from the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors.
Thomson admitted a charge brought by the New Zealand Law Society
that he had been convicted of offences punishable by imprisonment, and the convictions tended to reflect on the fitness to practise, or tended to bring his profession into disrepute.
The tribunal said Thomson was convicted of use and possession of methamphetamine and possession of cannabis. He had pleaded guilty to the offences and was convicted and sentenced in January 2014.
The tribunal accepted that the drugs were for his personal use and the offending occurred in his personal time, however it said a concerning aspect of the offending was that Thomson was employed as a police prosecutor at the time.
As well as this, he had also posted videos of his drug use on a website.
While Thomson fully cooperated with all investigations and admitted guilt at the earliest possible opportunity, the New Zealand Law Society asserts that no penalty short of striking off would properly reflect the seriousness of the offence or protect the public in the absence of reliable material to suggest another rehabilitative course.
President Chris Moore says New Zealand has legislation in place designed to maintain public confidence in the provision of legal services and to protect consumers of legal services.
“Lawyers must appreciate that they are required to maintain high standards of behaviour in their personal lives as well as professionally. Anyone who fails in this lets down the whole legal profession,” he says.