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City lawyer GUILTY of ‘racially aggravated’ assault at Christmas party

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Alastair Main smacked his victim’s bottom, called her an “Australian slut” and poured beer over her

london-rowing-club

A City solicitor accused of lifting up a 27-year-old woman’s skirt, slapping her bottom and calling her an “Australian slut” has been convicted of racially aggravated assault and sexual assault.

University of Nottingham graduate Alastair Main, 35, was also accused of tipping a glass of beer over his victim at the London Rowing Club’s 2015 Christmas party, in a string of incidents that started when she refused to give him a hug.

After chatting in the ‘Captain’s corner’ of the club in Putney, Main (pictured below) admitted pouring “what remained of [his] beer straight on top of her” while she was crouched down by her bag.

alastair-main

Ashurst-trained Main accepted this element of the assault to Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court, but he denied it was racially aggravated. Describing himself as “7/10 drunk”, the defendant — who, according to the Law Society, is legal counsel at Schroders — reportedly said:

I did not say ‘Australian’, I called her a slut but I did not say ‘Australian’. It was a pathetic thing to do.

Later on in the evening, Main allegedly trailed his victim into the ladies’ toilet, lifted up her skirt and repeatedly slapped her. While he denied this and told the court he had followed her because he “wanted to say sorry to her”, he did confess to grabbing her by the waist.

After “storming out” of the restrooms, he pursued the young woman out of the club and “gave her a slap on the bum”. Admitted as a solicitor in October 2007, Main told the court the bum slap was “cheeky”, but prosecutor Paul Douglass — of 9 King’s Bench Walk — said the defendant intended to “humiliate” his victim. He told Main:

This was a sexual rejection by her, she rejected you sexually by refusing to give you a hug and as a result you reacted by pouring your beer over her head. This was very spiteful to prevent her from going out and enjoying the evening.

The married solicitor, who cried in the dock, said:

It was unacceptable, I feel ashamed at myself.

Main was found guilty on both counts and has been bailed unconditionally for pre-sentencing reports to be prepared. His sentencing is scheduled for 26 January.

Previously:

City in-house lawyer faces trial over allegation of sexual assault [Legal Cheek]

34 Comments

Mia

Australians aren’t a race, so convicting him of racially aggravated assault for calling the girl an ‘Australian slut’ doesn’t make sense. It was xenophobic, not racist.

Next thing it’ll be racist for football crowds to chant ‘northern b**tards’ at the opposition.

(56)(9)

Trumpenkrieg O'Feels

The Macpherson report, which underpins the thrust of so-called “hate crime” in the United Kingdom, defines a racist incident as one that is percieved as racist by the victim or someone else. No reference to reasonableness anywhere, so if madame (or prosecutors) felt there to be a racial element, then it’s racism. End of story.

(16)(11)

Mia

I’ve heard concerns about that too.

Obviously this guy’s behaviour was rank, but our legal system, more than anywhere else, should use language accurately.

(28)(0)

Lee Ingham

You really shouldn’t be commenting on a lawyer’s site then.
The legislation defines ‘racially aggravated’ as including reference to race, ethnicity, nationality and a few other similar. ‘Racially aggravated’ is not inaccurate, it’s shorthand for a defined term that would be quite a mouthful to keep repeating.

(25)(14)

Mia

I know that’s how the legislation defines it – what I’m saying is that it’s a crap definition which has perverted the meaning of ‘racist’ to include language which most evidently *isn’t* racist.

(24)(5)

Triggered loon

THAT’S RAYCIST!!!

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Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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Anonymous

Seriously?

Anonymous

The report doesn’t say what race the victim was.

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Anonymous

Cried in the dock? What a p***y.

(10)(19)

Anonymous

He’s crying because he knows he’ll be struck from the Roll and end up in a call centre.

(18)(1)

Anonymous

Staff at Irwin Mitchell are said to have the same feeling on their first day.

(19)(4)

Anonymous

Jones Day will no doubt be trying to get this guy to be their new managing partner

(34)(1)

Jones Day secretary Krystal

I’ve already send him a full equity partnership offer with a hefty golden handshake, sir.

Also, tonight we meet at your bedroom or mine?

(17)(0)

Anonymous

Nah, in the office will do fine, we’ll keep the blinds up, that’ll motivate those lazy associates to aim high once they see the perks.

(11)(0)

Biq diq

I would like to join

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Danny Dyer

Finks he’s a nawty geezer. What a melt.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

I hope the victim warned him that she would call the police if he did not leave her alone.
Sheesh. I infer (i) that they were acquaintances and (ii) that if they were at a rowing club there would have been people around who had the physical confidence to interfere with him and tell him to behave himself, if she had been obviously uncomfortable with him – so it is a shame that the Police had to become involved and bring in the criminal justice infrastructure.

It would have been interesting if the report had taken the trouble to mention any witness testimony, or if it was just the victim and him in the witness box.

(4)(10)

Anonymous

I can’t imagine they would have prosecuted without at least one witness.

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Anonymous

Alternative/easier way of preventing the police becoming involved would be him not doing it at all. No?

(9)(0)

Anonymous

You forgot “it was just banter”

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Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(3)(5)

Anonymous

I understand that they had previously dated. Something that hasn’t been released to the jury or press.

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Anonymous

So what?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

The Gazette cover this. They do not mention if there were any other witnesses. However, they have a quote from the Judge saying that the Defendant came across as an unreliable witness. This inclusion makes the narrative better.

Would he have been prevented from running a defence along the lines of – we have previously dated , this was a carry over from previous intimacy, it was a mistake based on that, it was not a criminal assault ? I don’t see how it would have been. Mistake as to consent. Someone says this was withheld from the jury. Hmm. I would like to know the argument that the CPS succeeded with there.

(1)(0)

Lee Ingham

As the trial was at a mags court I’m fairly sure nothing was withheld from a jury.
The main assault was on her way out down some stairs so the earlier comment about tough rowers intervening doesn’t apply.
And the fuller report in the Telegraph makes clear there were other witnesses supporting her.
Any other reasons to blame the victim or legal system rather than him…?

(10)(0)

Anonymous

Lee Ingham, as is often the case with the criminal process, the set of factual circumstances which underpinned this trial was between 5 minutes and 2 hours long – for the sake of argument.

I was lamenting that the outcome of that period of time is that a 35 year old man and a 27 year old woman have played out a scene whereby the man is to be a criminal without a job and with a likely broken marriage. Yet the woman has been degraded, granted, and has been put through the stressful ordeal of waiting for the process to unfold to its climax where she then has to endure a barrister in the spotlight who is paid to ask her uncomfortable questions and call her a liar.

It is a shame that there was no one around either party who had the power to stop that coming to pass.

I was particularly dismayed because, unlike an assault carried out by the equivalent of a strong athlete in public, whereby the victim and the perpetrator are likely strangers to the observers, here they were not. It was a party. They will each have known the observers to the scene. They are also, unlike the public, highly likely to be athletic themselves.

You have illuminated the need for good journalism. The extra comments in the Gazette and Telegraph paint a grimmer scenario than Legal Cheek did about the underlying facts – it occurred on a stairway, you say.

Yes, you can blame him rather than her or the Legal System but it is still a shame, and that, I expect, is why I am level pegging at 3 thumbs either side 🙂

(2)(9)

Anonymous

Was wondering when someone would say that

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Anonymous

Did his barrister invoke the Bantersaurus Rex defence?

(11)(1)

Anonymous

Wonder what his wife has to say about all of this.

(8)(1)

Anonymous

He should be struck off for this. Vile person.

(5)(2)

Cockney Geezer

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

I certainly would not like to underestimate the distress this caused the victim nor the unpleasantness of the behaviour of the defendant, but this could well effectively end the defendant’s career.
The possibility of a caution may not have been considered here. A caution was administered to Graeme Stenning even though the “victim” was effectively accusing him of a sexual assault.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Reading through all of the replies and knowing a little background on this story I am quite frankly amazed the case ever made it this far. This was a classic example of an ill judged illicit affair, in which one of the parties was left ‘disappointed’ and resulted in little more than a lovers tiff. Fast forward a year the defendants bad judgement has lost him his career, possibly his home, wife and newborn baby and the UK tax payers have no doubt seen a fair amount of money wasted on this trial. Hell hath no fury as they say.

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