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Rory McGhee
Rory McGhee

North-east hairdresser found guilty of sexually assaulting teenage colleagues

A north-east hairdresser has been placed on the sex offenders’ register after he was convicted of groping teenage juniors at a city salon.

But last night Rory McGhee vowed he would appeal the guilty verdict which found he had repeatedly fondled two girls working as apprentices.

The former Peterhead Academy pupil, who has worked in salons across the region for a number of years, had denied the charges against him but was found guilty yesterday following a three-day trial at the city’s sheriff court.

Giving evidence in his defence yesterday the 34-year-old admitted touching the girls but denied anything inappropriate had ever taken place.

He told his defence agent Jennifer Pritchard that it was not uncommon for him to touch colleagues on the shoulders, arms and hips if he wanted them to move.

McGhee, of Grampian Road in Aberdeen, said if he had touched anyone on an inappropriate part of their body it would have been unintentional.

However, under cross-examination fiscal depute Karen Dow accused McGee of being on an “ego trip” and exploiting his senior position to take advantage of the teens.

She said the 16-year-old victim, who gave evidence behind a screen earlier in the trial, had told the court she had confronted him after he repeatedly brushed his private parts up against her.

The teen had threatened to go to their boss or police if he did not stop, Ms Dow said.

She put it to McGhee that had his behaviour been innocent he would not have stopped what he was doing.

Ms Dow also asked McGhee about his relationship with a 15-year-old girl, who had earlier given evidence that he had groped her between 15-18 times and also told her to “curve her bottom out”.

McGhee denied fondling the teen and said that there was often “colourful language” used in the salon, but claimed his comments were not intentionally sexual.

However, Sheriff Christine McCrossan said both girls’ evidence had been “very clear” about what had happened.

Finding McGhee guilty, she said he had also corroborated their stories through his own evidence.

She deferred sentence on the hairdresser for background reports to be carried out and placed him on the sex offenders’ register.

In a statement after the verdict, McGhee vowed to fight to clear his name.

He said: “These allegations were completely without foundation and have been hugely stressful to both myself and my girlfriend, who was heavily pregnant at the time.

“We had our first child in December – and have had to live with these allegations hanging over us during what was the happiest moment of our lives.

“Her support for me has been unwavering. But the pain and stress this case has brought to both of us cannot be underestimated.”

He added that the verdict reached by the sheriff was “wrong” and said he was launching an appeal.

McGhee said he wanted to thank his friends, family and clients for all the support they had shown him throughout the “ordeal” and said he would “fight to clear his name”.