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Colleague sexually assaulted by manager felt she couldn’t retaliate

Colleague sexually assaulted by manager felt she couldn’t retaliate

Monday 12 February 2024

Colleague sexually assaulted by manager felt she couldn’t retaliate

Monday 12 February 2024


An accountant who slapped the rear of a junior colleague twice and later grabbed her crotch on a work night out in Guernsey has narrowly avoided prison.

Calum McNicoll (35) had already pleaded guilty to the offences.

The Judge said it was only exceptional family circumstances and his previous good character that saved him from being sentenced to imprisonment when he appeared in the Magistrate's Court last week.

A group, including the defendant and victim, had walked to a bar. McNicoll let the victim enter a bar first and, as she walked past, slapped her on the bottom. He later repeated the action while ordering drinks, despite protest from the woman.

"He was my boss"

Later in the evening, they attended a nightclub, and while she was walking upstairs he put his hand between her legs and squeezed her crotch.

The victim "felt unable to remonstrate further" due the fact McNicoll was her manager, and she told a colleague about the incidents instead.

After his arrest, McNicoll told police he had drunk to excess and couldn't remember what had happened. He admitted he had slapped other people on the bottom before.

Advocate Russell said the victim was affected in several ways, including drawing into herself, being afraid of running into him in the office. She was reported to be "worried she invited it to happen", and felt she couldn't retaliate as "he was my boss".

Advocate Paul Lockwood, defending, provided five positive character references to the court detailing how the actions were out of character for McNicoll. He added that McNicoll was shocked and ashamed with his actions, showing "proper insight" into the offending and understood the consequences for the victim.

"You took advantage of your position"

The defendant has stopped drinking after the incident and made the "solemn promise" to be teetotal going forward. It was accepted how seriously the courts view sexual assaults and the safety of women.

He was assessed as being at low risk of reoffending.

Judge Gary Perry, sentencing, gave full credit for the early guilty pleas but said the court has a "firm stance on this sort of behaviour that objectifies women".

"You were a line manager in a position of trust... you took advantage of your position," he said.

An "all too familiar tale"

He added that the impacts on the victim told an "all too familiar tale affecting daily life" which had "serious implications".

But Judge Perry said it was only his "exceptional" personal family circumstances and his previous good character that allowed him "not to follow the usual course of prison" for such offences.

McNicoll was sentenced to 100 hours of community service for the slaps, as a direct alternative to three months in prison, and six months in prison, suspended for two years, for the grab.

He was also made subject to a three-year notification order.

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