SCOTLAND’S senior lawyers are being challenged to tackle misogyny after a top QC sent highly insulting messages about the head of a rape charity.

Rape Crisis Scotland made the demand after it was reported that Brian McConnachie QC had commented about the organisation’s chief executive, Sandy Brindley, in a text message to another QC.

The charity insisted the leading lawyer’s “sexist and demeaning” comments were “unacceptable”.

It comes as the Faculty of Advocates confirmed a finding of “unsatisfactory professional conduct” had been made against McConnachie.

The Daily Record reports that, in WhatsApp messages to a woman, McConnachie made a sexist comment about Brindley and sent a sexually explicit photograph of himself from the toilets of a high court building minutes after defending a rape accused.

He is also alleged to have made claims about having sex in several work settings, including courtrooms, the Crown Office and at an official party for Scotland’s top law officer, the Lord Advocate. In another message, he called a client a “lying c***”.

The former high court prosecutor has been found to have breached his duty of confidence.

The messages have been shared as evidence for a formal complaint the woman lodged with legal watchdogs about McConnachie’s professional conduct.

The National: Chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland, Sandy BrindleyChief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland, Sandy Brindley

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A spokesperson for Rape Crisis Scotland commented: “This situation and the unacceptable comments directed towards our chief executive expose a culture of misogyny amongst some members of the Faculty of Advocates and lay bare an environment where entitled, arrogant attitudes and behaviours are clearly present.

“We have engaged in good faith with members of the Faculty to try to find common ground to improve the protections and rights of complainers of sexual crimes.

“For senior members of the Faculty to discuss our staff in such a sexist and demeaning way is deplorable.”

The spokesperson continued: “Sexist attitudes like these should have no place within the legal profession.

“If senior QCs are comfortable conversing about someone they have held a professional external relationship with, then this raises serious concerns about how they will behave towards other women they encounter, including women entering the profession, or women that they cross-examine in sexual offence cases.

“We are calling on the Faculty and other legal professional bodies in Scotland to commit to taking urgent action to address the misogynistic attitudes which clearly exist within the profession.”

McConnachie has been contacted for comment.

He has previously acted in some of Scotland’s most high-profile cases. For instance, he represented Aaron Campbell as he was convicted for the murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail.

A spokesperson for the Faculty of Advocates said: “As the process is ongoing it would not be appropriate for Faculty to comment on this matter, beyond confirming it is correct to say that a finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct had been determined regarding Brian McConnachie QC.”