A married city lawyer sent leaked nude photos of a Love Island star to a teenage paralegal and told her he wanted to have sex in front of his colleagues, a court heard.
Oliver Bretherton, 41, is also charged with encouraged the 18-year-old to have unprotected sex with a man on their first date because “he enjoyed her taking risks.”
Bretherton admitted that he sent him links to pornography he liked and erotic literature, but denied this on many occasions. The court heard that she sent leaked images “related to” a Love Island star, but denied doing so on many occasions.
The lawyer denied the images were of Love Island star Zara McDermott, who has previously spoken about the circulation of her nude images when she was younger.
Nimi Bruce of the Solicitors Regulation Authority asked him: “Do you agree that you had discussed sending Person A leaked nudes of a Love Island TV star?”
City attorney Oliver Bretherton (pictured), 41, sent leaked nude photos of a Love Island star to a teenage paralegal, a disciplinary court has heard.
“Yes,” Bretherton replied. Do you remember which star from love island? Was it Zara McDermott? asked Mrs. Bruce.
“No, it wasn’t,” Bretherton said.
“Do you know that there is at least one Love Island star who has spoken of having suicidal thoughts due to nude photos shared online?” said Mrs. Bruce.
“I wasn’t aware of this,” Bretherton replied.
Bruce also claimed that Bretherton told the 18-year-old that he wanted to “fuck her and he would do it in the office and he didn’t care if there was a glass wall.”
He The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has heard that Bretherton, a married banking and finance specialist, recruited the woman, known as Person A, about five years ago, just after she had finished her A-level studies.
The teenager was retained by the international law firm Gowling WLG after being interviewed by Bretherton. The alleged misconduct is said to have started in 2017, shortly before he was to marry Laura Innes in a traditional Scottish ceremony, and lasted for almost two years.
The lawyer was a director of Gowling WLG at the time of the allegations. He is now a banking and financial partner of the Gunnercooke law firm.
He allegedly sent her a video of himself performing a solo sex act, told her what to wear, demanded to know where she was and who she was with, timed her bathroom breaks, and threw ping-pong balls at the teen worker’s dress.
It is also alleged that Bretherton told the 18-year-old to have unprotected sex with a man on their first date. She told the court that he was on holiday in Scotland when she sent him photos of her having sex with another man.
He claimed the ‘unsolicited’ photos were sent’to try to wake me up. “I had limited access to my phone because I was with my wife. I was alone with my wife, so it was difficult to text her back,” she said.
It is also alleged that Bretherton told the 18-year-old to have unprotected sex with a man on their first date.
The woman claims that Bretherton was ‘controlling’. She alleges that Bretherton knew she was going on a first date and instructed her to sleep with the man. She told the court: ‘I did it because I knew Oliver would be mad at me if he didn’t.
“He also asked me to send him photos of me having sex and not to use a condom or take the pill because he enjoyed me taking risks.”
Bretherton denied instructing her. She told the court: “I never really understood what Person A was doing in her love life.”
He denies allegations of sexually motivated conduct towards three women, including Person B, who claims Bretherton described her as “hot”.
A third complainant claims that Bretherton behaved inappropriately towards her in a sexualized manner.
Giving evidence, Bretherton recalled that Person A was a ‘very trusting’ individual. He said: “The impression I got from Person A was that he was very confident and I didn’t get the impression that he wasn’t doing things other than office behaviour.”
Acknowledging that there was an imbalance of power between them that never changed over time, he said, “I was older and she was younger.” I accept that there was an imbalance of power.
Bretherton agrees that he discussed Person A’s sex life, telling her that a photo of her turned him on. He denies telling her that she was masturbating. He also admits to sending a message asking him to take her underwear off, describing the sex and how she would “feel and taste”.
The lawyer said: ‘Yes, we exchanged messages of that nature but I don’t remember the details. I remember we discussed positions.
Bretherton denied Ms Bruce’s suggestion that he was a “risk-taking thrill seeker”. She also denied persuading Person A to buy a sex toy and telling her to pleasure herself with it.
He said: ‘No, I never gave him anything. We had conversations where she explained that she was using the vibrator, I could have asked her in that context, but I don’t remember a specific situation where I asked her (for her to use the vibrator).
I admit that what I was doing was inappropriate behavior. He was married. I don’t think he can sit here and morally claim that it was the right thing to do. Morally I was betraying my wife. I have hurt my loved ones.
Ms. Bruce responded, “We’re not talking about morality, we’re talking about a lack of integrity.”
Bretherton claimed that he was not sure of the difference between the two words. Referring to a kiss between him and Person A in an office chair, Bretherton said: “I’m not proud of what I did, but it was consensual at the time and I don’t think it’s wrong for two adults to get into a consensual relationship. .
“I had a relationship with someone who I saw at the time as an adult, very mature, very confident.
“At the time, I thought it was something that she didn’t just want to engage in between two adults who consented to an activity that they both wanted to engage in and that was the same.
“In terms of the entrance’s involvement in the relationship, I would possibly say that she tried to instigate more, but I definitely instigated, but (the relationship) was the same for sure.”
The lawyer was a director of Gowling WLG (pictured) at the time of the allegations. He is now a banking and financial partner of the Gunnercooke law firm.
When Bretherton asked Person A to spread his legs in the office chair, he said: ‘I was excited, yes. I disagree that I was a risk-taking thrill seeker.
Recalling a kiss with Person A in the pub during a work social, Bretherton said: “That was far from everyone.” I definitely didn’t want to take any chances there and it’s something I immediately regret.
“I think, in the kissing example, I think it was out of character because we had been drinking.
“It was consensual, but it wasn’t the emotion of the tension of being caught that made that happen and I think the way I reacted shows that.
I don’t know who may or may not have seen it.
Mrs. Bruce said, ‘So isn’t that such an amazing suggestion that you could have said you’d fuck her in the office and you wouldn’t mind if there was a glass wall?’
Bretherton responded: “I didn’t say that to her… I find that suggestion very far-fetched as she would never do that.”
The hearing continues.