A SOLICITOR suspended indefinitely over conveyancing complaints received an identical penalty last night in a re-hearing in his presence.

Timothy Husbands, 37, of Petch's Cottages, Liverton, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Cleveland, failed to respond to letters and telephone calls.

The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors tried to get in touch with him at his practice, Timothy N.V. Husbands, in High Street, Loftus, after complaints from the Midland Bank and another Yorkshire firm of solicitors.

Stephen Battersby, solicitor for the Law Society, previously told the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal: "He has never really sought to explain what had happened, other than to say one of his files went missing. It is a case where he has buried his head in the sand."

The complaints against Mr Husbands did not involve any dishonesty, but "persistent and prolonged failures to do what ought to have been done."

Mr Battersby said the matter related to two conveyancing cases in 1996 and that Mr Husbands did not attend the previous hearing because it was in his diary for July 13, instead of the 11th.

He applied for the re-hearing and remained suspended.

Announcing the decision to suspend Mr Husbands indefinitely, tribunal chairman Keith Yeaman ordered costs of £555.80 against him