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Woman who reported QC for sexts about head of Rape Crisis Scotland 'appalled' by disciplinary procedure

By Annie Brown

A woman who reported sex texts from a leading QC about the head of a rape charity said she is “appalled” at the disciplinary action taken against him.

Leading advocate Brian McConnachie sent texts about Sandy Brindley, the head of Rape Crisis Scotland, saying he would “s**g” her “just to have something over her”.

But legal watchdog the Faculty of Advocates ruled that sending the texts was not a breach of its code of conduct.

The female complainant last night said she felt let down by the process after acting as a whistleblower over the texts.

She said: “I am sickened and appalled by the faculty’s failure to tackle sexist, misogynistic behaviour.

“Their priority has been to protect their own, with no regard to how disrespectful and disturbing it is that a man of his standing made such demeaning and disgusting comments about the female head of a rape charity.

“This was a chance for the faculty to confront outdated sexist attitudes, to show it has moved into the modern era – but instead its archaic approach shows sexism within the legal profession to be systemic.”

The woman is now appealing the decisions.

Rape Crisis Scotland said McConnachie’s offensive references to Sandy were “unacceptable” and demanded the faculty reform to tackle sexism within legal ranks.

The messages were shared by the woman as evidence for a complaint she lodged with the faculty concerning McConnachie’s professional conduct.

In its judgement, the body’s disciplinary committee said the message “concerned only McConnachie’s feelings and wishes about hypothetical sexual activity that he might engage in” with Sandy.

McConnachie, a former high court prosecutor, also sent a message claiming another male QC had told him he wanted to have sex with Sandy.

Although this was found to be unsatisfactory professional conduct, the faculty’s reasoning was that McConnachie was showing “disloyalty” to another advocate by repeating his alleged comments.

The complainer said: “Two QCs have a degrading conversation about Ms Brindley and the only point the faculty make is you shouldn’t drop on your advocate pals in it.”

On the same date of the messages about Brindley, McConnachie sent a sexually explicit photograph to the woman declaring he was in an aroused state in the toilets of the High Court in Livingston.

He had just finished defending a rape accused.

The committee dismissed the complaint as the picture was sent a minute after the court day ended and it couldn’t be proven he was still engaged by a client.

The woman said: “If that had been a police officer who sent a sexually explicit picture of himself from the station a minute after his shift, he would face serious discipline or similarly a doctor who had just finished surgery popping into the hospital toilets to send a picture like that.”

The faculty also dismissed a complaint over texts in which McConnachie said he engaged in sexual activity with colleagues, after accepting his defence that the claims were “fantasy”.

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Dive Deeper:
Scotland's legal watchdog urged to 'drag itself out of the dark ages' as MSP blasts 'blatant misogyny'
Monica Lennon MSP said the Faculty of Advocates should have condemned the “blatant misogyny and sexism” of his messages about…
Lawyer's comments about Rape Crisis chief spark call to stamp out misogyny
SCOTLAND’S senior lawyers are being challenged to tackle misogyny after a top QC sent highly insulting messages about the head…
Top QC said he would 's**g' head of Scots rape charity 'just to have something over her'
In a series of salacious messages, Brian McConnachie QC also sent a sexually explicit photograph of himself from the toilets…
Sickening discrimination is dressed up as lads' banter - and it's shameful
It wasn’t just the sexist warblings of Bill Copeland, a former QC turned after-dinner speaker, which offended women at the…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Tuesday's headlines: Scots naval officer caged for using MoD van to transport cannabis worth £300k
Tuesday's headlines: Scots naval officer caged for using MoD van to transport cannabis and man arrested in connection to murder…
Police Scotland pays out nearly £1m to ex-officer over sexism case
Rhona Malone quit Edinburgh firearms unit where misogynistic abuse was rife
Get all your news in one place