Top lawyer 'sent insulting sexually explicit text about rape charity boss'

·2-min read
Brian McConnachie QC outside the High Court in Glasgow in the trial of a 16 year old boy who is charged with the murder of six year old Alesha MacPhail.
Brian McConnachie QC was accused of sending 'sexist' text messages. (PA)

A rape charity has condemned a leading lawyer accused of sending "sexist" and "demeaning" text messages about the group's chief executive.

Brian McConnachie QC appeared before a disciplinary hearing over allegations he sent sexually explicit WhatsApp and text messages.

The Faculty of Advocates issued a finding of "unsatisfactory professional conduct" against Mr McConnachie, one of Scotland's leading lawyers.

The Daily Record reported he made "unacceptable" comments in his messages about Sandy Brindley, chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland.

It reported that in one message, Mr McConnachie wrote he would "shag her just to have something over her".

According to the Record, the Faculty dismissed this part of the complaint against Mr McConnachie, along with multiple other complaints about sexually explicit messages. A complaint in which Mr McConnachie insulted a client was upheld.

The newspaper said Mr McConnachie also sent other sexually explicit messages to a woman, who shared them as evidence in a formal complaint.

In a statement, Rape Crisis Scotland said the lawyer’s “sexist and demeaning” comments were “unacceptable”.

A spokesperson said: “This situation and the unacceptable comments directed towards our chief executive expose a culture of misogyny amongst some members of the Faculty of Advocates and lay bare an environment where entitled, arrogant attitudes and behaviours are clearly present.

“We have engaged in good faith with members of the Faculty to try to find common ground to improve the protections and rights of complainers of sexual crimes.

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Brian McConnachie QC arrives at the High Court in Glasgow for the trial of a 16 year old boy who is charged with the murder of six year-old Alesha MacPhail.
A disciplinary hearing made a finding of 'unsatisfactory professional conduct' against one of Scotland's leading lawyers, Brian McConnachie. (PA)

“For senior members of the Faculty to discuss our staff in such a sexist and demeaning way is deplorable.

"Sexist attitudes like these should have no place within the legal profession.

“If senior QCs are comfortable conversing about someone they have held a professional external relationship with, then this raises serious concerns about how they will behave towards other women they encounter, including women entering the profession, or women that they cross-examine in sexual offence cases.

“We are calling on the Faculty and other legal professional bodies on Scotland to commit to taking urgent action to address the misogynistic attitudes which clearly exist within the profession.”

The Faculty of Advocates confirmed a finding of “unsatisfactory professional conduct” had been made against Mr McConnachie.

A spokesperson said: “As the process is ongoing it would not be appropriate for Faculty to comment on this matter, beyond confirming it is correct to say that a finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct had been determined regarding Brian McConnachie QC.”

Yahoo News UK has approached Mr McConnachie for comment.

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