One of Scotland’s top criminal defence advocates has been fined and given a severe written warning after being found guilty of professional misconduct over a series of WhatsApp messages.
Brian McConnachie KC sent a sexually explicit photograph of himself from the toilets at the High Court in Livingston to a woman among a series of other inappropriate communications at a hearing last month.
Another message stated he might “sh*g” Rape Crisis Scotland chief executive Sandy Brindley “just to have something over her. But I would not enjoy it,” while the lawyer also broke a confidentiality agreement between himself and a client by suggesting he was a liar.
The Faculty of Advocates said his conduct represented a “serious and reprehensible” departure from the expected standard in February’s ruling.
The body has since announced McConnachie has been given a “severe written censure” and an £8,000 fine.
Rape Crisis Scotland branded the punishment “a complete disgrace”.
McConnachie has been one of the most high-profile legal figures in Scotland for decades, appearing in many high profile criminal trials.
The faculty’s ruling said: “When all of the actions complained about are taken together, we are of the opinion that the respondent’s conduct must be considered professional misconduct.”