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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Solicitor's cheeky court protest
Sunderland magistrates' Court
The incident took place at Sunderland Magistrates' Court
A solicitor could face disciplinary action after dropping his trousers inside a court corridor in protest against new security measures.

Willie Johnstone was one of a group of defence solicitors protesting against new measures introduced last week at Sunderland Magistrates' Court.

New rules mean everyone is searched as they enter courts through main doors.

A spokesman for Her Majesty's Court Service said they were treating the incident "very seriously".

Defence solicitors claim the measures discriminate against them because they do not apply to prosecutors, magistrates or court staff, who get into the building through a back door.

Court users

Mr Johnstone, who works for Harding, Swinburne, Jackson & Co in the city, is currently on holiday in Thailand and was not available for comment.

No-one at the firm was available for comment.

But a spokesman for Her Majesty's Court Service, said: "Sunderland Magistrates' Court has filed a complaint.

"We have a duty of care to all court users and any people entering the court building via the public entrance must be searched.

"The policy applies to everyone, including solicitors.

"We are taking this incident very seriously and we are considering what action to take."

The Law Society said it had not received any formal complaints about Mr Johnstone's behaviour.




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