A SENIOR government lawyer convicted of upskirting a woman has escaped being banned from the profession because his vile behaviour happened “in the heat of the moment”.

Daren Timson-Hunt targeted a woman wearing a summery dress on the London Underground as she went for a job interview last year.

Dad-of-one Timson-Hunt, of Broadstone Road, Stanford-le-Hope, was spotted by a police officer hiding his phone between his legs and taking a picture up the lady’s dress “four or five times”.

He was previously given a community order after being one of the first people to be sentenced under new laws.

Now a disciplinary tribunal has agreed not to strike off from being a lawyer again.

The tribunal accepted his argument that it was a “heat of the moment” decision as a result of work pressure and was instead suspended for six months.

The Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service held the hearing on November 23, and the decision was published on Monday.

The panel said: “The Tribunal was of the view that the offence committed by [Timson-Hunt] was a serious one if relatively new.

“It involves filming. It was not touching but nevertheless it was serious. However, in the meaning of the sanctions guidance it is not a serious sexual offence.

“The Tribunal heard submissions and accepted the respondent’s argument that it should not depart from the starting point as none of the aggravating features are present.”

The panel added: “It is clear at the time that the respondent was working very hard. He was working on the goods related aspects of Brexit and he told the Tribunal that it was not uncommon for him to work 80 hours a week.

“His wife was ill at the time and she has still not fully recovered.

“The respondent was subject to domestic pressures. This is how he came to commit the offences and in doing so he jeopardised his career. He lost his job.”

When Timson-Hunt’s phone was examined, he was also found to have taken two videos of the woman.

Timpson-Hunt was previously a director of primary school Belmont Castle Academy, Grays.

He was previously given a community order that will run for 24 months until September 25, 2021.

The order contains three requirements: the completion of a 35-day programme, 30 days rehabilitation activity and 60 hours unpaid work.

Timson-Hunt was ordered to join the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

The tribunal heard he now does manual work and his earnings are limited and that he showed genuine remorse, but also undermined the profession in the eyes of the public.

As well as his suspension, the 54-year-old must pay £1,200 in costs to the Bar Standards Board within a year.