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Councillor, Accused of Pretending To Be a Barrister, Charged With Seven Offences

Published on: 13 Aug, 2014
Updated on: 15 Aug, 2014
Cllr Monika Juneja

Cllr Monika Juneja

Cllr Monika Juneja, (Con, Burpham) has today (August 13) been charged with seven offences, including one count of wilfully pretending to be a barrister contrary to the Legal Services Act 2007.

A police statement said that 35-year-old Cllr Juneja: “… was also charged with two offences contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, three offences contrary to the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, and one count of pecuniary advantage contrary to the Theft Act 1968 when she returned to Guildford Police Station earlier today.

“The Crown Prosecution Service has been consulted throughout the investigation.

Juneja was bailed last week to allow the CPS to review the case and reach a charging decision, which has resulted in the charges today.

It is understood that Ms Juneja has been released on bail and is due to appear at South West Surrey Magistrate’s Court in Guildford on September 2 2014.

Cllr Juneja, the lead councillor for planning at Guildford Borough Council, told The Guildford Dragon News that she has: “No comment.”


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Responses to Councillor, Accused of Pretending To Be a Barrister, Charged With Seven Offences

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    August 13, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    That this case is now going to court raises again an issue of governance, one of Cllr Juneja’s former responsibilities.

    When questions concerning Cllr Juneja were first raised last year an “independent” enquiry was conducted by GBC [Guildford Borough Council]. The findings, [based on erroneous advice] were initially flawed and it was concluded that it was not a serious matter.

    The police and CPS now seem to have formed a different view, which again questions the independence and competency of GBC original enquiry.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    August 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    How many people are charged by Surrey Police and enter the courts of the county without having their name and picture released to the press prior to the hearing?

    Furthermore what statute or act gives the right to the police to make this announcement to the press?

    Surely either every single person charged should be named to the press prior to the hearing or no one should be named and shamed before the court hearing. Anything else must surely be a breach of the individuals human rights.

    I remain extremely concerned as to the origins and continuing back story to this case.

    • Martin Giles Reply

      August 14, 2014 at 12:38 am

      Comment obtained from Surrey Police: “Surrey Police follows the Association of Chief Police Officer Media Guidelines which state that: “Not all charges will be proactively publicised but under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 we have a duty to update the media when a suspect is charged if the case has been previously publicised.

      Details which can be given are:

      · Name and age of the person/s charged

      · An address – typically a street name but not a house number

      · The offences they were charged with

      · Occupation

      · Any bail details

      · Date and location of next court appearance

      I hope this helps. To clarify, Surrey Police has not issued an image of the individual in question and this has been sourced by the local media using other means.”

    • Martin Elliott Reply

      August 14, 2014 at 10:17 am

      I wonder why Jim Allen is concerned about the origins and back story of this case?

      It has been, as I indicated, in the public domain for over a year. Despite a botched investigation by the council and the Conservative Party with suspicious recommendations.

      It’s for the courts to now decide if this was a criminal deception. As a politician one must expect others to scrutinise one’s honesty and the consequences that follow.

      • Jim Allen Reply

        August 15, 2014 at 12:40 am

        Accusations are not proof of guilt. I have not seen any statement by the councillor confirming or denying the charges. Have I missed a something?

        Guilty until proven innocent may be the way of some residents in this borough but personally I prefer to allow the courts to decide.

        • Robert Burch Reply

          August 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

          Perhaps Mr Allen can give a few more details to the public about the reasons he is concerned about the “origins and continuing back story to this case” – it would be interesting for all to hear more.

          I may be naive, but I firmly believe that the police act with integrity and will only charge someone where they have reasonable grounds to think that an offence has been committed.

          I do not think that the police charge people based on rumour and insinuation. However, it is for a court to decide whether a person is guilty.

          • Martin Giles

            August 17, 2014 at 9:15 pm

            Please note: Nothing will be published by the Guildford Dragon that could prejudice the case. Ed

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    August 14, 2014 at 10:18 am

    The only ‘back story’ to this matter is that the supposedly independent management of GBC presided over a flawed ‘independent’ investigation into this, and found no case to answer, having been provided with the same relevant evidence as the CPS.

    These individuals should now be examining their consciences, and considering their positions.

  4. Peta Malthouse Reply

    August 14, 2014 at 10:36 am

    It will be for the courts, including a properly selected jury, to decide if Ms Juneja is guilty of any of the charges brought against her. We will have to wait and see.

    However, in the circumstances I do not see how she can possibly continue to hold any role other than as an elected representative during this important phase of consultation during the Local Plan consultation.

    • David Davies Reply

      August 14, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      It is self evident that the courts will decide regarding Cllr Juneja and that is as it should be.

      In my experience as a union official, now retired, were any council employee to be charged, in similar circumstances, that individual would be suspended, on full pay, while investigation and legal processes were followed. This practice should also apply to a councillor.

  5. Anna-Marie Davis Reply

    August 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I agree entirely with Martin Elliot above: it is now for the courts to decide.

    But while Cllr Juneja remains on the Executive, all of Guildford’s Conservative councillors are lessening their chances of re-election and simultaneously allowing questions to be raised about the governance controls within the council.

  6. Adrian Atkinson Reply

    August 16, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Councillor Paul Spooner said on Twitter “@adrianpatkinson @GuildfordBC I will respond when all evidence is known. We will review process when objective assessment possible”. He seems to indicate the original investigation didn’t have what it needed or wasn’t objective?

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