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B.C. lawyer agrees to 10-year ban from profession for child porn conviction

David Andrew Riddell could re-apply to become a lawyer on Jan. 27, 2032
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A society hearing panel decision notes David Andrew Riddell has attended extensive counselling with a registered psychologist.

The Law Society of BC has accepted a proposal by former Maple Ridge lawyer David Andrew Riddell, who has agreed not to practice law for 10 years following a child porn conviction.

The settlement with the province’s regulator of legal professionals comes after Riddell pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in September 2019, resulting in a nine-month conditional sentence and 15-month probation.

A society hearing panel found that Riddell had committed “conduct unbecoming the profession.”

“The Law Society’s Discipline Committee accepted Riddell’s proposal that he may not practise law for a period of 10 years. The committee considered Riddell’s mental health issues for which he has received extensive counselling, as well as protection of the public by Riddell not being permitted to practise for a lengthy period of time,” stated the regulator on Monday, via a statement.

The panel noted Riddell viewed the images over a prolonged period of time and “it was not a single event.” Mitigating his serious offense, the panel noted he had no criminal record prior to his child porn conviction and he had taken responsibility by pleading guilty, showing remorse and attending extensive counselling with a registered psychologist.

Riddell, 50, became a non-practicing lawyer in 2018 after he was charged. He could re-apply to become a lawyer on Jan. 27, 2032 via the society’s credentials committee.

Riddell obtained his law degree at the University of Cambridge; in 1993, he was called to the Bar of England and Wales until he and his wife immigrated to Canada in 2001, according to the hearing panel. Riddell joined the society in 2003 and by 2013 he was a sole practitioner in a Maple Ridge law firm specializing in real estate and commercial law.

gwood@glaciermedia.ca