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The Lawyer and the Gangster – Relationship Issues

Janine Doolan is a top criminal lawyer, but she has been suspended from her law firm after allegedly swapping texts with a gangster prisoner, Mark Johnston.

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The Daily Express report that Johnston, then 22, bragged of taking drugs while behind bars in messages sent on a smuggled mobile phone while on remand for orchestrating a planned attack on a businessman from inside his cell.

It led to a hand-grenade being dumped outside the home of former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish. Details of the 2009 exchanges emerged last week during the failed High Court appeal of another villain Gary Wilson, who was involved in carrying out the bungled grenade attack and was represented by Ms Doolan.

She was described as “incapable of being regarded as a witness of accuracy and truth” by judges who said they were “troubled greatly” after the text messages were recovered by police analysts from Johnston’s phone.

Lord Justice Treacy said: “The texts appear to demonstrate an inappropriately close relationship between the two and include references to drug taking by Johnston while in prison.”

The judges said that if Ms Doolan – who is married and in her 40s – did send the messages while Johnston was in Liverpool’s Walton jail, it called into question her “professional obligations as a solicitor”.

They also drew attention to a ­possible criminal offence committed under the Prison Act 1952 which makes it illegal to communicate with inmates using smuggled phones and called for a copy of their judgment to be sent to the Solicitors Regulation Authority watchdog.

Read more at the Daily Express

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