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Colleague sexually assaulted by manager felt she couldn’t retaliate

Colleague sexually assaulted by manager felt she couldn’t retaliate

Friday 09 February 2024

Colleague sexually assaulted by manager felt she couldn’t retaliate

Friday 09 February 2024

An accountant who slapped the rear of a junior colleague twice, and later grabbed her crotch, on a work’s night out has been given a lengthy community service order and a suspended sentence.

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 spared him from imprisonment yesterday.    

A group, including the defendant and victim, walked to the North Plantation on 20 October 2023 at around 20:30. 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.  

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 did say 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, “worried she invited it to happen”, and felt she couldn’t retaliate as “he was my boss”. 


Pictured: The offences took place in the North Plantation.

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

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 having a low risk of reoffending, and his dependants were highlighted as likely to suffer should he be incarcerated. 

Judge Gary Perry, sentencing, gave full credit for 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."

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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