Unprofessionals in Law

February 4, 2014

Biting Bad: possible jail sentence for gnasher turned fraudster

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According to Legal Cheek, former Law Society Council representative for Northumbria and serial biter Frances Brough now faces a second jail sentence for expenses fraud.

In 2011, Brough was enraged by the sight of machinery and ‘strange cars’ on family land at Shilbottle, Northumberland, and sank her teeth into the arm of neighbour Lydia Boyd. After hepatitis shots and antibiotics for the five centimetre wound, Boyd recounted:

She bit my arm through my jacket. I thought she was going to let go but she bit harder. I couldn’t do anything to get her off me, she was so strong. My mother said to the neighbour ‘she’s biting her’ and he then came around and tried to get her off. He had an awful struggle.

Prosecutor Sarah O’Neill let Brough off with a community order and a stern reprimand, branding her ‘a difficult, stroppy person’.

Last year, Brough assaulted and bore her teeth at police officers interrupting a row with her parents, earning her the not-so-lenient sentence of six months in Durham prison.

Upon her release in October 2013, the solicitor had some hefty fraud allegations to contend with. The Law Society, for which she once organised the Gray’s Inn Ball, charged her with 19 counts of fraud for bogus expenses claims made in 2010 and 2011, and, inevitably, dismissed her from Council.

Brough had falsely claimed a total of £15,890.24 from the society in increments ranging from £59.20 to £1,536.99 for food, travel and accommodation.

Having admitted to one charge encompassing the illegality of her actions, the remaining 18 were dropped. Southwark Crown Court has delayed Brough’s sentencing until March 28: let’s hope no more flesh is gnawed in the interim. AW

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