Millionaire lapdancing club owner jailed for coercing vulnerable Brighton teen into sex on his yacht
A millionaire lapdancing club owner is starting a three-year prison sentence for coercing a vulnerable 17-year-old Brighton girl into having sex with him on his yacht in Majorca.
Kenneth McGrath, who ran the Pussycat Club in Church Road, Hove and Grand Parade, Brighton, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court yesterday, having been convicted on Friday, 10 November of paying for the sexual services of a child.
McGrath, now 61, of St Martins Place, Brighton, was found not guilty of two offences of sexual assault against the same girl.
In 2015 the girl was recommended by a mutual friend to McGrath, who was seeking a ‘girl Friday’ to work on his yacht moored in Majorca, hosting hen parties on his behalf.
But when she she arrived on the yacht, there were no hen parties and McGrath took advantage of her isolation and vulnerability to coerce her into a sexual act with him. He even created a document which purported to show her willingness to this activity as part of her contract of employment.
Detective Constable Melanie Wauchope said; “Ken McGrath exploited a balance of power between an employer and employee to control and manipulate a vulnerable young person into engaging in sexual activity.
“During the trial he tried to discredit her motives but clearly the jury did not believe him. We will always take seriously such reports and take action wherever possible.”
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “McGrath has been shown to be a manipulative and calculating individual who exploited a vulnerable child for his own sexual gratification.
“It is flabbergasting that in a bid to cover his despicable actions he created a document suggesting his victim was a willing participant in her own abuse.
“We hope she has received all the support available to help her move forward with her life and that McGrath’s sentence gives her some form of closure, as well as protecting others.”
He will be a registered sex offender for life and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last until further court order.
The SHPO prohibits him from providing any massage services, from taking any images of any girls under-18 without prior parental or guardian permission, and from being involved with any employment that would bring him into contact with any under-18 girls.
He is also prohibited from possessing any digital image-taking device unless it is available for inspection by police, and is prohibited from contacting the victim.
McGrath opened the Pussycat Club in Hove in 1999, and in April 2007 he was given permission to allow dancers to strip fully naked there and at its sister club Top Totty in Grand Parade. Later that month, Top Totty also took on the Pussycat Club name.
The original Pussycat Club in Church Road closed in 2009, which McGrath told The Argus was because of competition after restrictions were loosened.
Until 19 November, McGrath was listed as the Brighton Pussycat Club’s designated premises supervisor (DPS). Its current DPS is Kristopher McGrath, 29, who is also the sole director of Saltire Investments, which owns the club.
Kenneth McGrath was a director of Saltire Investments until he resigned in 2013.