At a hearing of the Architects Registration Board’s Professional Conduct Committee on 20 July 2015, Mr Jemmie Williams of Streatham, London, was erased from the Register of Architects.
In July 2014 Mr Williams was convicted at the Inner London Crown Court of dishonestly making a false statement in order to obtain Jobseekers Allowance. He was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and ordered to pay compensation of £7,926.14 to the Department of Work and Pensions.
Mr Williams did not attend the hearing and so the PCC proceeded in his absence, having satisfied itself that he had been given adequate opportunity to appear. The PCC found that the conviction was relevant to Mr Williams’ fitness to practise as an architect in that benefit fraud is a crime against society, the dishonesty had taken place over a prolonged period of time rather than being an isolated event, and the conviction reflected badly on the reputation of the profession.
The PCC considered the Judge’s sentencing remarks and concluded that this was a serious criminal offence of dishonesty which was fundamentally incompatible with Mr Williams continuing to be an Architect. Mr Williams had not demonstrated any insight into his conviction and had not provided anything by way of mitigation to the Panel. In these circumstances the PCC considered the only appropriate sanction was that of erasure from the Register of Architects.
A copy of the Committee’s decision can be found here.