Scots lawyer caught with cannabis in court avoids being struck off

Michael McKeown, 54, was preparing to speak with a client via video link at Glasgow Sheriff Court when he was searched

The Daily Record reports

A lawyer caught with cannabis inside a court building has avoided being struck off.

Michael McKeown, 54, was preparing to speak with a client via video link at Glasgow Sheriff Court when he was searched by police after turning up wearing a Celtic FC training top. He was found to have herbal cannabis and later received a £325 fiscal fine which meant he was spared a court appearance and a criminal record.

The incident took place weeks into the first Covid-19 lockdown in April 2020 which saw court buildings almost totally closed and limited cases called. McKeown, who has been a solicitor since 2005 and is a partner of law firm Callahan McKeown & Co Ltd, was hauled before the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal (SSDT) and found guilty of professional misconduct.

He had a censure placed on his registration for after it was ruled there was ‘no likelihood’ of him repeating his actions. His lawyer William Macreath told the hearing McKeown had visited his mother to deliver shopping and do some gardening when he received a call from a colleague to say an ‘extremely vulnerable’ client was in custody.

He attended Glasgow Sheriff Court in a bid to use a computer link to speak to the client who was being held at the city’s London Road police station. Officers had raised concerns about the behaviour of the client but before McKeown could speak with him, he was detained and searched by court police.

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