London barrister, Mark Saunders, shot dead after shootout with the Met – and who says we arenn’t a wild bunch

May 7, 2008 |

Hot off the UK press sites is the report that a practising barrister, Mark Saunders, was killed after a shootout with police in London.  The Guardian gives a straight up and down coverage of what happened on the day.   The Times gives quite a detailed background to Mr Saunders.  He was apparently an Oxford educated family law barrister.  He was only 23 when called to the bar in 1999.

Clearly the stories are being prepared on the run and the many gaps on this canvas will be filled over the next few days.  With reports of Saunders engaging in gunplay with armed cops on three occasions in a 5 hour siege, with no demands being made, you have to wonder whether what was going through his mind.  Suicide by cop is a phrase that sprang to my mind.  The thought of doing a family law brief would probably send me to the top of a tower with a high powered slingshot, metaphorically speaking.  Grinding and depressing work.  Fortunately in Victoria the Melbourne Bar has taken some steps towards addressing depression that some barristers feel.  The Bar can be a lonely existence.

Just to how how supportive and understanding his chambers were in dealing with this tragic incident, speculated as being a domestic dispute getting out of hand (you think!)  they put out a statement:

A spokeswoman for QEB said: “We understand that a member of our team may have had some involvement in an incident in West London yesterday, but it’s really not for us to confirm. You will have to contact the police or IPCC.”

What a bunch of gits!  I bet a few overfed silks paranoid about bad publicity and a morbid fear of appearing human slaved away over that pallid drivel.  What about the tragedy of losing a young life.  Where is the legal liability in those basic human emotions. When I read such asinine nonsense I think the wrong counsel was killed. Brave souls are QEB, they have taken down their site as at the time I amd writing this.  Bravo lads.

It always strikes me as odd the way some lawyers react to a human tragedy.  What do they think the downside is of expressing pain and sorrow for the loss of someone so young and promising.

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