Ian Clegg, a 32-year-old conman who pretended to be a barrister and represented clients in court, has been jailed for two years by the Crown Court in Durham, England.
After buying a barristers’ robe and wig on eBay, Clegg appeared before magistrates and judges at county court to defend people accused of motoring offences and handle debt cases.
Charging £75 an hour, he made hundreds of pounds from the fraud before he was exposed as a fake.
Clegg pleaded guilty to three fraud offenses where he claimed to be a qualified barrister and represented clients before the county court.
He was also made subject of an anti-social behaviour order upon his release from prison, banning him from claiming that he was a lawyer and requiring him to report to police if he intends to accept a job.
Clegg has previous convictions for fraud. In May 2004 he received 140 hours’ community service after using someone else’s credit card to pay a £165 hotel bill.
In October 2005, he was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for running up hotel bills of £7,000 and claiming he worked for JD Wetherspoon.
A law was passed last year in the Legal Services Act which made it illegal to “wilfully pretend to be a barrister.”