Constance Briscoe

(85 Posts)
limitedperiodonly Thu 01-May-14 18:05:37

I've left it a couple of hours for someone else to start a thread because I'm a bit of a shy one but I can resist no more.

I don't know what to say. I am flabbergasted by her poor judgement.

I'm going to be beside myself tomorrow waiting for her sentencing and Max Clifford's.

LineRunner Thu 01-May-14 18:08:33

Fucking hell. I'd forgotten about this.


rootypig Thu 01-May-14 18:09:54

She is awful. I remember seeing her on Question Time and being amazed that she was a judge.

Hasn't Max Clifford been arrested for sex offences? doubt he'll be saying much

rabbitrisen Thu 01-May-14 18:10:44

lp. I dont think that you are shy!

I think that she is a bit of a one off.

ImAThrillseekerBunny Thu 01-May-14 18:11:11

The fact that she's being investigated for fraud relating t

ImAThrillseekerBunny Thu 01-May-14 18:11:54

..relating to her mother's libel suit against her is also a bit if a shocker.

claig Thu 01-May-14 18:12:31

She did wrong, but I do feel sorry for her. What a tragedy.

Scarletohello Thu 01-May-14 18:13:34

Interesting that her mum took her to court for lying ( unsuccessfully) and then she gets done for lying by the criminal courts in which she worked!

Karma or summat...?

limitedperiodonly Thu 01-May-14 18:20:17

Yes, linerunner, from what I heard on the radio, I think it's going to be jail. And obviously her judicial career is over.

That's what I find so strange. I'm not a fan of Chris Huhne but I can't say I'd go to the barricades for Vicky Pryce either. Why did Briscoe do it?

That's why I'm asking about her fitness for judgement.

I'd really be interested in other views about her competence as a judge because I don't know about that and am truly baffled because on the face of it it seems she's not fit to be in charge of a goldfish.

Also, I've waded several times throught that report and can't work out what's being said about findings and retrials so I'd also be grateful for a breakdown by someone who knows.

rootypig I agree that I've never warmed to her. Clifford's been convicted and is looking at jail time tomorrow.

rootypig Thu 01-May-14 18:20:44

More that a liar will eventually be caught out, Scarlet

rootypig Thu 01-May-14 18:24:20

actually I take that back, it's not fair as the libel action failed. Let's go with karna grin

LineRunner Thu 01-May-14 18:32:32

Jesus. How would retrials work, with such limited legal aid for defendants now?

limitedperiodonly Thu 01-May-14 18:32:40

rabbitrisen I am shy. It's just that only people as sensitive as me notice it wink

limitedperiodonly Thu 01-May-14 18:38:29

Jesus. How would retrials work, with such limited legal aid for defendants now?

I agree. Especially with the collapse of that fraud trial today.

rabbitrisen Thu 01-May-14 19:12:26


ohmymimi Thu 01-May-14 19:12:30

I see Huhne has made a statement about this. That arrogant, self-regarding, convicted liar should look to his own moral failings.

LineRunner Thu 01-May-14 19:16:54

Huhne still thinks he a big player. Ffs.

claig Thu 01-May-14 19:23:08

Channel 4 News reported that the judge has said that a custodial sentence is almost inevitable.

emotionsecho Thu 01-May-14 19:32:36

I read her book, never having heard of her before, and was thought she seemed very inspiring. What the hell went wrong? and is the libel case she won against her mother now under investigation?

Am I correct in my understanding that she lied about Vicky Pryce confiding in her, refused to assist the police when investigating the allegations and leaked information to the press? What was she hoping to achieve, Vicky Pryce not being charged?

hackmum Thu 01-May-14 19:36:33

I agree, OP, the lack of judgement - in a judge! - is astonishing.

Very interesting piece on PM today that said when her mother sued her for libel over the representation of her (the mum) in her (Constance's) book, she (Constance) may have falsified some of the evidence.

I took am eagerly awaiting the Max Clifford sentencing.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Thu 01-May-14 19:45:38

Huhne and Pryce appear to have bounced back from their convictions and custody. But Constance Briscoe will be completely finished by this.

Strange how these things work.

Scarletohello Thu 01-May-14 19:49:12

Interesting piece about her rise and fall

emmelinelucas Thu 01-May-14 19:50:05

Why did Constance Briscoe risk her career and reputation for Vicky Pryce ?

I have no idea.

But she must have had a jolly good reason.

limitedperiodonly Thu 01-May-14 20:00:21

Huhne and Pryce didn't do jobs where you could be struck off. Plus they are engaging on camera.

Briscoe fails on both scores. She does appear to share their vanity, though.

limitedperiodonly Thu 01-May-14 20:11:01

Why did Constance Briscoe risk her career and reputation for Vicky Pryce ?...But she must have had a jolly good reason.

emmelinelucas I can't see the jolly good reason.

She lied and fabricated evidence for her nutty mate who was married to a bit of a shit.

I wouldn't do that, and I don't have as much to lose.

More importantly, she's a judge. This is more than a bit of a mad moment.

iK8 Thu 01-May-14 20:12:28

I've always thought she was a bit of an attention seeker. Lots of people put themselves out there for a cause but for her it all seemed a bit self indulgent without any real point. I really wouldn't be surprised if it turned out she had a personality disorder of some kind. Some of her behaviour is frankly bizarre.

That said, I do feel sorry she has to go to prison - it's going to be particularly horrendous because of her profile and former career. The circumstances of her conviction suggest she got herself into a situation she couldn't handle and it just spiralled out of control.

limitedperiodonly Thu 01-May-14 20:17:30

That said, I do feel sorry she has to go to prison - it's going to be particularly horrendous because of her profile and former career. The circumstances of her conviction suggest she got herself into a situation she couldn't handle and it just spiralled out of control

Eh? I'm not a hanger and flogger - but she's a judge who handed down sentences for others.

She is deserving of the most severe of sentences.

iK8 Thu 01-May-14 20:48:59

I didn't say she didn't deserve it. I can feel sorry for her for making such a hash of things and having to go to prison and think it is a fair punishment. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I think it's been clear for a while that she is not really of sound judgement and yet she was appointed to the bench. That's quite worrying. She didn't appoint herself....

LineRunner Thu 01-May-14 21:21:14

Who requested her appointment and why?

Mind you, there are plenty of other judges who seem, frankly, even more unhinged.

JessicaMary Thu 01-May-14 21:22:44

1. I feel sorry for her.

2. However she has only herself to blame. I tell clients almost every day of the year never lie at all, not even one tiny tiny thing that may seem unimportant. She should not have lied to the police.

3. I do believe she was abused as a child and I liked her two books - worth reading is anyone has not read them.

4. Perhaps a difficult childhood can cause implications when you're older. This applies across all classes. I am sure posh white male lawyers who were abused at boarding school in later life can have similar difficulties and issues. people from her background.

5. There has been an investigation into why so very many ethnic minority law firms breached solicitor professional conduct rules compared with whites and a report issued. It's a very hot topic at present. it is a huge pity she let everyone down so much as she was a very very very rare example of a black woman who was also from a terribly working class deprived background who actually was successful in law.

hackmum Fri 02-May-14 08:07:36

"There has been an investigation into why so very many ethnic minority law firms breached solicitor professional conduct rules compared with whites and a report issued. It's a very hot topic at present."

Has that been reported at all? That's quite shocking. And surprising.

With Briscoe, I'm grasping at straws here, but I wonder if she's one of those people who just tells lies out of habit, and gets so used to not being caught she assumes she's invincible. It's difficult to understand otherwise why someone would risk so much for so little.

ImAThrillseekerBunny Fri 02-May-14 08:53:00

Here is an article summarising the issues hackmum.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 02-May-14 09:41:26

I think the common denominator here is that everyone involved in the case operated as though they were above the law. I'm sure others have taken speeding points for spouses, bent the facts, and not landed themselves in jail because they've had the good sense to keep quiet. This bunch weren't stupid people - far from it - so you have to conclude that they thought they were entitled to be as indiscreet & dishonest as they like and there would be no consequences

iK8 Fri 02-May-14 09:52:37

Yy cognito. There is definitely an arrogance.

hackmum Fri 02-May-14 09:53:32

Thanks, Thrillseeker.

Agree, Cogito. But what a shower.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 02-May-14 10:00:16

I said they weren't stupid people and I may have to backtrack a little. Huhne could probably have put a stop to all of this early on if he'd owned up to the deception rather than fight it through the courts as he chose to do. But I get the feeling that once he decided to make it a battle of principle the others involved had the spotlight turned on them and made exactly the same mistake.... lying rather than coming clean. A very big example of 'when in a hole, stop digging'.

JessicaMary Fri 02-May-14 10:02:42

I still blame Chris H the most, though. If he had not decided that his lust for the lesbian in the civil partnership was more important than his children, family and wife and instead if he had marital troubles had counselling and ultimately divorced and only after that to get his leg over as it were none of this would have happened.

Yes, that link is what I meant. It is presumably a topic we aren't allowed to talk about in the UK today - whether some cultures or people of certain backgrounds lie more than others so we'd better not get on to it on this thread.

superhands Fri 02-May-14 10:06:55

No statement from Vicky Pryce yet? I suspect now she's rebuilt her 'brand' she will be distancing herself from this one. They are all arrogant and self serving.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 02-May-14 10:33:54

I was waiting for your thread on this Limited wink.

I just don't understand how someone with so much to lose can be drawn into something so stupid.

I also want AngelaDaviesHair to appear on this thread, so I can ask her a shallow question about weaves.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 02-May-14 10:38:49

Jessica - If you read the excellent link Thrillseeker provided you would see the issue is not if some cultures lie more than others.

Are you possibly the sort of person who thinks being challenged on bigoted views is the same as not being allowed to talk about something?

limitedperiodonly Fri 02-May-14 11:34:37

I also want AngelaDaviesHair to appear on this thread, so I can ask her a shallow question about weaves

gosh Try as I did to stick to high-brow matters, one of the questions that wouldn't go away yesterday was: 'Who was the poster who slagged off Constance's weave? She was dead right.' grin

AKeyFox Fri 02-May-14 12:02:44

16 months

SnowinBerlin Fri 02-May-14 12:07:56

16 months? The disaster that has been inflicted on so many lives through one man's attempt to avoid 3 penalty points...

AKeyFox Fri 02-May-14 12:14:06

The thing is what if she is also found guilty of forging the doctor's letters in the failed civil case against her ?

Not only would there be a second jail term, because of the modus operandi, they'd have to review virtually every case she's worked on as a barrister or judge.

That will take years.

TeaAddict235 Fri 02-May-14 12:21:24

very disappointed with Constance. As a fellow professional black woman it is damn hard getting to the top of your field, let alone becoming famous / recognised on the way, that nothing could be worth risking your credibility to the degree that you can no longer practice in your field. My heart aches at the knock on effect in my community, as I know of a few young ladies who looked to her as a role model.

Erm... to the poster who said that some cultures lie more than others, what?! People are people wherever they originate from. I think that you need to work abroad for a bit and hear what people say about the Brits!

AKeyFox Fri 02-May-14 12:27:16

Snow, I see it rather more as a very fortuitous and very partial revelation of lying cunts arranging their lives around lying cuntiness.

Their lives are a sham.

Disaster has not been inflicted on them, they are criminals.

Padeen Fri 02-May-14 12:36:17

That's an interesting link about the BME law firms, but having read it I don't think Constance Briscoe's story has any bearing on the issues there.

The media suggest that those convicted in trials in which she was the prosecutor will already to be reviewing their cases for any grounds of appeal. It looks as though the issue is already live in her mother's case also.

AngelaDaviesHair Fri 02-May-14 13:00:14

Ta daaah! You asked, I came.

There has been an investigation into why so very many ethnic minority law firms breached solicitor professional conduct rules compared with whites and a report issued

Well, yee-es, that's one slanted way of putting it. If you're going to say that, you might in fairness add, there has also had to be pointed consideration of why 'ethnic minority law firms' are disproportionately investigated, and disproportionately disciplined and punished following investigation. Are they 'worse' than white firms, or subject to more scrutiny and punishment? Not saying that transgressors of any stripe should not be punished, but don't draw fucking lazy conclusions about racially-based propensity and standards from a biased system. And then be coy about it.

Constance gets into trouble in Hughne/Price trial.
Constance is prosecuted, jury can't agree so they are discharged.
Constance is tried all over again (retrial) and found guilty on 3 counts-
1. Giving police 2 untrue statements;
2. passing off false statement (2) as false statement (1) to confuse police;
3. giving the wrong statement to a document expert (who was presumably examining it re allegations of alteration).
Constance is under new investigation after allegations come to light she either obtained evidence by false pretences when defending the civil libel trial brought against her by her mother.

Why did she do it? Limelight addiction, throwing herself into another unhappy break-up after her own relationship ended very bitterly (witness the horrendously mean Daily Mail article on the new girlfriend of her former partner Anthony Arlidge QC-did CB have a hand in it?), wanting to show off about how she, a relative insider, could play the system? Dunno. My legal sources didn't have a kind word.

More importantly, what is the weave question?

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 02-May-14 13:05:32

Basically, what fox said.
A set of friends/partners all colluding to serve their own interests. Id wonder how they found each other, but shit finds it's own level.

JessicaMary Fri 02-May-14 15:21:43

Weave is presumably something to do with her hair, I would imagine.

MiloSimpson Fri 02-May-14 15:39:58

I saw her and her Mother at the Old bailey today and would echo some of the same thoughts as tea regarding Black prof' women.

On a much more shallow note, I would say that the weave needs to go.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 02-May-14 16:39:35

The weave question might sound silly but:

What makes a good weave? Why does CB's look so bad and the likes of Naomi Campbell's look so good?

rabbitrisen Fri 02-May-14 16:42:45

She seems to have a different set of priorities to most people.
Truth comes way down her list.

Is she perhaps more interested in winning?
Or her ego totally took over.

MiloSimpson Fri 02-May-14 17:06:41

Re the weave, I would suggest that it depends on money and how much hair you have underneath it ie the more hair you have, the harder it is to 'fit' the weave well and make it appear natural.

Equally, there 6 or 7 different ways or techniques that one can choose from and in my experience, the cheaper the weave the worse it looks.

This gives some info.

In terms of CB, her weave doesn't look as if it ever fitted particularly well, it's not been styled for a looooong time, is dry and just hasn't been maintained. It's made from synthetic hair, ass against human hair and so wouldnt last as long or lend itself to much/over styling using products or tongs etc.

Pommes Fri 02-May-14 17:15:29

Really?! This is a woman (albeit a woman who has done wrong and is being rightfully punished), who was abused as a child and repeatedly called ugly..... and here we are criticising her for her hair?

Criticise her for her crime, commend her for her achievements, comment on her downfall. But her hair?!

AngelaDaviesHair Fri 02-May-14 17:16:25

I agree with Milo. The weave wasn't good to start with (synthetic, wrong colour, just plonked on) and has been left on too long.

They're all pretty bad though, in the sense that if you keep doing it you lose your hair.

AngelaDaviesHair Fri 02-May-14 17:26:34

No one's forgetting the other stuff. And no one (apart from you) is equating it to or comparing it with her actual crimes. It is just a light-hearted aside from another thread.

It has always been odd though, that CB, affluent, high-achieving, was so disheveled (I saw her at the time of the libel trial, it was not an unfair description then, and she only got worse) and it did lead me to wonder what was going on with her.

I do get very exercised about weaves (what's so bad about our own hair that we are prepared to do stuff like that to hide it) but in a wider political sense. And I am not suggesting a bad hairstyle is a reason to condemn CB.

ClubName Fri 02-May-14 17:31:02

"""There has been an investigation into why so very many ethnic minority law firms breached solicitor professional conduct rules compared with whites and a report issued. It's a very hot topic at present."

Has that been reported at all? That's quite shocking. And surprising."

I don't think a anyone who's had much contact with small ethnic minority law firms (or accountants) would be surprised TBH, sadly.

Just my own personal experience (20 years of it) but I worked in a field where bribes were often offered, in a multiracial area, until about 3 years ago and I was never offered one by a white professional. There were undoubtedly straight "ethnic" firms too, not at all saying they were all crooked, but it was much more prevalent than among white British/West European professionals.

MiloSimpson Fri 02-May-14 17:31:38

As Angela said, no one has forgotten the crime or her upbringing (although I'm not so sure I'd automatically link the two) and yes, it was light hearted re the weave.

limitedperiodonly Fri 02-May-14 17:35:34

pommes It was a flippant comment which went towards her judgement in other areas, like, er, being a judge which I think, you'd agree, is mightily poor.

I think I've covered that and I'm pretty sure that angela has in her summing up.

ClubName Fri 02-May-14 17:39:15

LOL Limited. I have photos to prove that over the years my judgement re hair has been diabolical. I think my professional judgement has been basically sound though grin

You should have learned by now though that's it's not possible, on MN, to talk about any woman seriously and mention their appearance at the same time without getting a severe ticking off. That fact that it's done in RL without comment everyday but not even a whisper of it is allowed here does make me laugh.

JessicaMary Fri 02-May-14 17:43:15

ClubN, same here. The only people who have ever offered me bribes have been from Asia. Mind you there is more than enough corruption in all cultures too - including those allegations of selling land in small subplots scam where the case just collapsed due to the low fees the state now pays for the barristers.

CB should not have lied. Do buy her books though - they are really worth reading, very good indeed and what an awful childhood. I cannot imagine it is made up even if some evidence were not accurate. There was enough evidence that was.

Pommes Fri 02-May-14 17:44:42

I agree that her history and her crime shouldn't necessarily be associated. However, I think it's distasteful for 'lighthearted'' comments to be made about the hair/appearance of a woman who spent thousands of pounds altering her appearance, as a result of childhood abuse by a mother who bullied her for (in her mother's opinion) being "ugly".

< ignores overuse of the word 'appearance' and posts anyway >

JessicaMary Fri 02-May-14 17:47:08

Gosh, yes, I certainly agree with that.
How many people on mumsnet commented on the hair of Chris Huhne during his trial?

Pommes Fri 02-May-14 17:47:38

ClubName - you have (perhaps unintentionally) supported my point, if CB were a man we would not be discussing her hair........

Pommes Fri 02-May-14 17:49:33

Sorry OP, I will stop derailing your thread now smile

ClubName Fri 02-May-14 17:50:33

Well, we might, depending on how bad it was grin I'm not saying it's right just that in RL such comment doesn't provoke such outrage.

Pommes Fri 02-May-14 17:54:07

You are right. It doesn't provoke such outrage in real life but, perhaps, it should? However that's a discussion for an entirely different thread.

ClubName Fri 02-May-14 17:59:26

Actually, I hadn't commented on her hair, only on the comments about her hair! I can genuinely say I hadn't noticed her hair - I had to have another look at the pictures to work out what the fuss was about. And I still don't think it's that bad. Which probably says something about my own standards re appearance...

mrsbrownsgirls Fri 02-May-14 18:03:46

how could someone in her position lie? it really defies all understanding

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 02-May-14 18:08:13

With regards again to Thrillseeker's link, I thought Professor John's remarks about cultural capital were especially pertinent.

Nursing has a similar issues with disproportionate amount of BME nurses (particularly those from overseas) being sanctioned by their professional body.

However, I think this has a lot, lot, less to do with issues of competency, culturally influenced or otherwise, then issues of most certainly racism* and also not knowing how to "play the game" when dealing with professional bodies. Knowing who to talk to, what to say and how to say it are hugely important in determining what level of sanction you face. I am sure the same applies for solicitors too.

*Racism is most certainly alive and well in the NHS

limitedperiodonly Fri 02-May-14 18:14:20

That link about the disproportionate number of BME firms represented in cases of alleged dishonesty didn't necessarily show dishonesty.

It showed potential dishonesty, but also the difficulty of people who are not from a traditional legal background - white male, middle and upper-class - trying to establish themselves and how they might have to set up their businesses - particularly as sole traders.

Complaints don't mean dishonesty.

I would applaud anyone who isn't from that kind of background in setting out on that path. Constance Briscoe isn't that kind of person.

I say that as a white, originally working class woman.

btw my hair used to look like this

it's not a million miles from this

limitedperiodonly Fri 02-May-14 18:20:16
iK8 Fri 02-May-14 18:49:05

I have often discussed Chris Huhne's hair. And I'm told he is a man.

JessicaMary Fri 02-May-14 18:51:15

We certainly need to work on ensuring people from all classes and cultures know exactly what the rules are and make it a matter of pride that they never bend them in any way.

AngelaDaviesHair Fri 02-May-14 20:49:49

The thing is, Pommes, that given the collapse in her credibility, the claims made in those books can't necessarily be taken wholly at face value now. It is notable that not one of her siblings supports those claims (though that is as consistent with being the scapegoat outcast she says she was as with the accusations being wholly or portly untrue).

Caitlin17 Sat 03-May-14 00:14:43

I started off years ago thinking what a horrible person she is. I was reading The Guardian report and started feeling sorry for her as her life is in tatters and then thought no, I'm not sorry for her.

She and I and everyone else in our profession have to abide by the highest standards of professional integrity ; most of us do. We are very fortunate and privileged. We might have to work hard but the rewards in terms of remuneration and career satisfaction are significant. Not telling lies really isn't that much to ask.

limitedperiodonly Thu 15-May-14 20:28:59

I've bloody well missed it.R4's PM really went for Briscoe’s libel defence against her mother.

It was a trail for a programme on tonight on R4 at 8pm

That was an interview with the doctor whose apparent letter from the early ‘70s was produced at the trial. It confirmed physical abuse and presumably convinced the jury. He can’t remember after all this time, but thinks it’s unlikely he wrote it because it doesn’t fit with the terms he’d use or the procedure he’d follow.

I'm listening to the trail end of it now. I guess it's on catch up

limitedperiodonly Fri 16-May-14 11:34:10

Here it is Very dramatic detective work from the reporter. Near the end there's a story from her sister's ex-boyfriend which, if true, makes her sound mad.

The whole thing makes it chilling that she was a judge.

Pommes Sat 17-May-14 20:20:55

I just listened to the whole programme - thank you OP. Chilling indeed, it makes her sound like a pathological liar.

Still no need to discuss her hair though.... but her lies are fair game grin

moofie44 Wed 21-May-14 20:47:34

Constance Briscoe first serving judge to be convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Cases Constance Briscoe prosecuted and presided over should be reopened in aftermath of her criminal conviction and jail sentence.

�As formal proceedings to remove her from the judiciary now begin, defendants could call for re-examination of their cases if they have concerns that her proven dishonesty affected proper disclosure of material to their defence lawyers. Briscoe both prosecuted and defended cases in London and Sussex.�

CAN PEOPLE PLEASE HELP TO GET THIS POSTED ALL OVER THE INTERNET AND FORWARDED TO THEIR LOCAL PAPERS? Someone out there may have been wrongly judged by this dishonest judge, and can make a complaint and perhaps get a retrial � PROVIDED THEY KNOW ABOUT IT!

xplodem Wed 28-May-14 11:45:51

she got it totally wrong. Was her book a good read?

GoshAnneGorilla Wed 28-May-14 12:48:05

I also listened to the Radio 4 programme, very compelling listening. I think her troubles are only just beginning.

Peekingduck Wed 28-May-14 20:07:31

The Monty Roberts of the justice system really.
I read her book and found the story inspiring, but the actual way the book was written to be quite dull. Not good penmanship if that makes sense.
Strange to risk so much for no personal gain.

babybarrister Wed 28-May-14 22:30:42

In no particular order ...
1. The Bar did not I am afraid 'rate' her very highly even before all of this - she was seen as a loose cannon. I can think of plenty of other Afro Carribeans female barristers who are much, much better role models ...
2. The report is not about the Bar but about solicitors. solicitors hold client monies whereas the Bar does not. I am afraid that complaints have to be seen in that context - most were not 'incompetence'
BME in the case of solicitors is unlikely to mean that they were trained overseas as unlike medicine it is very difficult to transfer over from non EU legal systems. This is not in the main an issue therefore about 'forrin' standards and customs. The report was well publicised within the legal profession.

3. I think that she lied because she and VP were women scorned and decided to seek revenge I am afraid - the article about Anthony arlige's new girlfriend was dreadful and I cannot accept that she was not involved in it at all. That in itself was a massive error of judgment by a serving judge ...

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