Barrister pursued by BSB for falling asleep at coroner’s inquest cleared of all charges

Barrister pursued by BSB for falling asleep at coroner's inquest cleared of all charges

A barrister who authored a book on sleepwalking and who fell asleep at a coroner’s inquest has been cleared of professional misconduct charges.

Ramya Nagesh was accused by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) of harming the public’s trust in the profession after she fell asleep at a virtual hearing.

She said she was suffering from the effects of having had Covid as well as a vitamin D deficiency and a sleep disorder.

A disciplinary tribunal has now unanimously accepted her medical evidence, concluding that her condition resulted in an “impairment of cognition, memory and insight”.

Ms Nagesh is the author of the textbook A Practical Guide to Insane and Non-Insane Automatism in Criminal Law, which examines how cases that involve sleepwalking, blackouts and hypoglycaemia are treated in criminal law.

A judge on the five-person panel, Janet Waddicor, said it was “very troubling” that the BSB had pursued the case relentlessly, without at any time pausing to assess the actual evidence.

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