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NSW solicitor banned from practising for perverting course of justice

A solicitor from a small mining town in NSW had his practising certificate cancelled for perverting the course of justice.

user iconNaomi Neilson 18 December 2023 Big Law
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Peter Desmond Payne, who ran his own practice out of Cobar, had his practising certificate for the year ending 30 June 2024 cancelled, according to the Registrar of Disciplinary Action.

The registrar said the decision was made following a “conviction for a serious offence, namely ‘do act etc intending to pervert the course of justice’ pursuant to s319 of the Crimes Act 1900”.

Mr Payne pleaded guilty to the charge in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court in mid-September this year.


According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Payne was convicted for perverting the course of justice when he helped a client avoid what he said was a “trap” set by police to “flush you out”.

The client was due to face a court when a tapped phone call recorded Mr Payne telling him that if he were to show up the next day, he was going to get “bloody bushwhacked”.

Mr Payne told the court he could not get in touch with his client.

In September, the magistrate, Emma Manea, reportedly said the crime was “unsophisticated” and “spontaneous”.

“You made an error of judgment which has cost you dearly,” Ms Manea said.

Mr Payne was handed a 12-month community corrections order.