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Home   Medway   News   Article

Sleazy Chatham photographer Donald McLaren groped model while her dad waited outside after luring women to his bedroom with advert

20 December 2013
by Lynn Cox

Donald McLaren is now on the sex offenders' register

Donald McLaren is now on the sex offenders' register

A bogus photographer set up a studio in his Chatham bedroom so he could lure young women there to molest them.

Sleazy Donald McLaren advertised his services online where he invited young women to contact him to get their portfolio pictures shot - despite having no professional qualifications or experience.

Two young women were duped by the 57-year-old into undressing into their panties and bras and he either groped or kissed them.

McLaren, of Imperial Gate, High Street, even molested one of the potential models while her father waited in his living room.

But his perverted plot came unstuck when the two victims posted comments on the website and he was arrested.

The women, aged between 18 and 20, had found McLaren's details on the Model Mayhem website where he had placed an advert.

When one woman arrived at his home with her father, McLaren insisted he remain in his living room as the shoot took place in the bedroom.

Despite the man being in the house, he brazenly asked the would-be model to remove her bra to measure her.

She refused, but McLaren hugged her and told her he wanted to measure her breasts from nipple to nipple to avoid shadows in the pictures.

It was at this point McLaren stripped down to his boxer shorts and as she turned away from him embarrassed, he squeezed her bottom, telling her he was sorry but he couldn’t resist.

McLaren also tried to kiss the woman and pull her knickers down but she told him the session was over and left with her father.

The case was heard at Medway Magistrates' Court

The case was heard at Medway Magistrates' Court

Another woman was also molested by McLaren when he offered to take her portfolio photos.

Again, McLaren, asked her to take of her bra so he could take her measurements and as she did he told her to hold two lollipops over her breasts.

He grabbed her breasts with both hands and groped them.

He also tried to measure her from her breasts to her crutch area and as he did so, he pretended to her that his hand had slipped, and he assaulted her.

He also grabbed the woman by the face and kissed her twice. The women both left comments about McLaren on the modelling website and the matter was reported to police.

When he was arrested, McLaren denied the allegations - but was charged with two counts of sexual assault.

"You manipulated, abused and assaulted these young women who had placed you in a position of trust..." - what District Judge Michael Kelly told Donald McLaren

He denied the offences when he appeared before Medway magistrates earlier this year, but was found guilty at trial.

Now he has been ordered to carry out 200 hours' unpaid work and pay £200 compensation to each woman by District Judge Michael Kelly, who also put him on the sex offenders' register for five years.

He told McLaren he had lied about what had happened and he had forced the woman to give evidence at his trial.

Judge Kelly added: "You manipulated, abused and assaulted these young women who had placed you in a position of trust."

Nicholas Markendale, prosecuting, said: "He registered with Model Mayhem in 2011, but admitted during interviews he had no qualifications and had not been on any photography courses.

"He told one girl to pull a seductive face during the shoot and to imagine she was kissing an attractive man.

"He told police he had only worked with two other models and when he was asked further questions he replied 'no comment' to officers."

Toby Burrows, defending, said his client was estranged from his wife and had rheumatoid arthritis. He accepted the findings of the court and that his victims has suffered some discomfort.

Mr Burrows added: "He has no intention of returning to the field. He did it for the money to increase his income. What happened to the two women was wholly out of character."

McLaren was also ordered to pay £850 costs.

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