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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 17:28 GMT
Solicitor sacked after BBC sting
David Lancaster
David Lancaster has been reported to the Law Society
A senior defence lawyer and former magistrate has been secretly filmed by the BBC helping one of his clients to fabricate lies to tell in court.

David Lancaster also gave an undercover reporter from BBC South's Inside Out programme advice on how to persuade a potential witness not to give evidence.

Mr Lancaster, 54, from Portsmouth, says his comments were taken out of context and he will be seeking legal advice.

Warner Goodman and Streat solicitors sacked him following the allegations.

Mr Lancaster went on to invent stories which would explain away the incriminating evidence
Chris Packham
Inside Out presenter

Inside Out presenter Chris Packham says the researcher's cover story was that he had been arrested for supplying cocaine.

"Our researcher told the solicitor that he had sold the drugs.

"Despite this admission, Mr Lancaster went on to invent stories which would explain away the incriminating evidence.

"He also suggested that the researcher's friends should visit a prosecution witness to persuade him to change his story," said Mr Packham.

During the secretly filmed interview Mr Lancaster gives the undercover reporter an explanation for why his fingerprints might be on the wrap of cocaine.

I fully accept that some of the remarks reported may have seemed inappropriate in isolation
David Lancaster

Mr Lancaster said: "You could say that at the time he changed the 50 quid for me, he showed me this cocaine wrap and I was horrified. I daren't do drugs even if I wanted to because if I did, I'd lose my job, and I gave it straight back to him."

Warner Goodman and Streat says the advice was in clear breach of Mr Lancaster's duties as both a solicitor and an officer of the court.

The company has reported him to the Law Society.

But Mr Lancaster said: "The undercover reporter was giving me mixed messages and his story did not fully make sense and, for that reason, I explored every possible option and scenario with him.

"I fully accept that some of the remarks reported may have seemed inappropriate in isolation."




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