‘He had his genitals hanging out’: Student, 20, sexually assaulted at Sheffield golf club

A 20-year-old university student was left feeling 'traumatised' after allegedly being sexually harassed by guest players at a renowned Sheffield golf club.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 8:37 am

Molly Bryan, who took up a casual job as a waitress at Hallamshire Golf Club during her semester break last year, said "nothing was done by the club" despite complaints made.

In the incident that occurred on September 12, she said she was called in at the last minute to help out at the club as it was hosting a private function.

She said: "I was sexually harassed by three members. That evening, I was ogled at and they asked me inappropriate comments as they would like 'to f*** me' and 'stick their c**** in my ear' made.

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Hallamshire Golf Club. Picture Scott Merrylees

"I was also subject to indecent exposure by another member as he had his genitals hanging out," she said.

She said she lodged a complaint to the club the next day where she was told that they would investigate the matter thoroughly.

But she was left disappointed when the only sanctions made were "12-month behavioural watch" and letters of apology from the members involved in the sexual harassment and indecent exposure.

The letters of apology, among others, indicated the individuals involved felt “saddened” and “upset” about the whole situation.

A member wrote: “We are a group of friends whose comments and humour were not intended to cause any offence. Please be assured that on my part there was no intent or awareness that my actions that evening had caused you distress."

Another wrote, saying how he had “no excuses” for his actions that evening.

"I am deeply sorry I caused you an offence and made you feel comfortable. My behaviour was unacceptable and I am wholeheartedly ashamed of myself,” he said.

Another member said he was “genuinely sorry” for what happened, saying: “I am genuinely remorseful for any part that the questions I asked you may have played in that.

"Clearly, as an individual and as part of a wider group of friends, steps needed to be taken to ensure that we all take the learning from this situation and ensure that it does not happen again.”

Molly also received a hand-written apology from one of the individuals involved and how he was “not proud” of his action.

“Clearly alcohol played a major part particularly with reference to my own actions which although not an excuse would explain behaviour that I am not proud of and is not something I see acceptable.”

But she said the letters of apology were nothing but “a joke”.

“They said this (incident) affected them. How can they say that it affected them when in fact it affected me - on what they said to me and how they treated me," she said.

She also said she had to lodge a police report, but nothing has changed since.

And this was the reason she wanted to speak out on behalf of other young girls thinking of working at the club.

"I was traumatised, I didn't sleep for three days and even now whenever I see the golf club I would have a panic attack. I don't think I would be able to cope," she said.

She said following the incident, she decided to leave her job at the club after two months.

Her father, Phil Bryan also resigned from the club in protest of what happened to his daughter.

In response, the club said this in a statement: “We take allegations of this nature extremely seriously and are committed to ensuring that the Club is a safe and welcoming environment for both staff and members alike.

“As soon as we were made aware of the complaint, we carried out a thorough and robust investigation in line with our disciplinary procedures.

“This included taking formal legal advice before taking forward actions to address the concerns raised.

"We have reviewed all policies and procedures, and have put in place new policies focusing on Equality & Diversity and Harassment & Bullying.

“We are confident that the Club and its Officers have dealt appropriately and professionally with the matter, and will continue to keep processes and practices under review."

South Yorkshire Police, when contacted, said the investigation was closed due to the "victim not wanting to take any further action.”

But Molly said that was not the conversation she had with the officer in charge.

"I even said to them that they did nothing to help me. They just said they would ring the Hallamshire and talk to them. Which allegedly they did. I’m very confused how they’ve come to that understanding.”

The new policies, which were put in place in January 2021 state that the club is committed to “promoting a fair and harmonious environment in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity and in which no individuals feel bullied, threatened, intimidated or harassed.

"The aim of this and the Equality and Diversity policy is to raise awareness about and prevent bullying and harassment at Hallamshire Golf Club.

“Harassment and bullying detract from a productive club environment and can impact on health, confidence, morale and the performance of those affected, including anyone who may witness or has knowledge of the unwanted and unacceptable behaviour; the club considers bullying and harassment to be unacceptable behaviour,” the website said.

The harassment includes unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct based on gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership, status, gender reassignment, religion/ belief, age, race or disability which affects the dignity of an individual.