McDonald's manager jailed in sex case

By Sandra Conchie

A senior McDonald's manager jailed for five years and three months for molesting two young women will be deported to India at the end of his sentence.

Amninder Singh Brar, 25, was sentenced in Tauranga District Court yesterday, after he was found guilty after two separate jury trials in November in relation to indecencies against the two victims.

Brar was found guilty on November 13 of one count of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old woman and at the second trial on November 29 was found guilty of one count each of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection with a female aged 12-16 and sexual grooming.

Both sets of offences occurred last year.

The indecent assault relates to Brar fondling a 17-year-old under her top while she was sleeping on a couch.

The other two offences against the second victim occurred in Tauranga late last year with the sexual violation occurring in Brar's car at Memorial Park.

During the second trial the jury heard evidence that Brar and his victim had exchanged text messages before he picked her up, then he stopped off to buy alcohol before taking her to the park.

The victim told the jury that Brar forced her to commit a sexual act knowing she was underage and denies she drunk any of the alcohol during the encounter at the park.

Brar claimed he was unaware of the girl's age and insisted the sexual contact was consensual.

His lawyer Bill Nabney submitted that his client deserved credit for stopping with his offending when asked to do so by his second victim and taking her home, his offer to pay $2000 to his victims and also his past good character.

Judge Thomas Ingram agreed that was appropriate and he also took into account Brar's pending deportation.

The judge said it was clear from character references that Brar had been a "hard-working young man with some talents and a very promising future" which was now "dashed".

Judge Ingram said it was also clear Brar's actions had resulted in "some substantial harm" to his victims and the need to protect the community from him was a key sentencing objective.

Outside court the second victim's mother said she and her daughter were satisfied with Brar's sentence, and happy he was going to be deported.

"But I am disappointed by the lack of response from McDonald's head office after I sent a letter to there four weeks ago in which I asked them to tell me why he [Brar] was able to continue working there despite these charges," she said.

"Ethically I feel they have a responsibility to ensure they make some changes to ensure this doesn't happen again to another underage girl," the mother said.

Following the guilty pleas, McDonald's head office confirmed to this newspaper that it would be conducting a full review with the McDonald's franchisee who employed Brar.

McDonald's Restaurants (NZ) Ltd said in a statement: "McDonald's takes incidents of this nature extremely seriously and senior management have worked with the franchisee to carry out a full investigation into the matter.

"McDonald's is committed to providing a safe work environment for our people."

A company spokesperson said several unsuccessful attempts were made to contact the second victim's mother.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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