A ONE-TIME special adviser to former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Christmas party.
Richard Holden is said to have groped the alleged victim, in her 20s, during the bash at his home in Kennington, south London, on December 17 last year.
The 32-year-old put his hands inside her open coat as she was preparing to leave, prosecutors say.
‘I was shocked and couldn’t believe what had happened,’ the woman said in a statement read out at Westminster magistrates’ court yesterday.
Holden denies the claims and will be tried by a jury.
Wearing a blue suit, white shirt and dark tie, he spoke only to confirm his name, age, address and nationality at yesterday’s hearing.
He was granted bail on condition he does not contact the alleged victim and is due to appear at Southwark crown court on January 3.
Holden, who left Sir Michael’s team earlier this year, stood unsuccessfully as the Tory candidate in Preston at the 2015 general election.
He became special adviser to the minister after working his way up at Conservative HQ.
Sir Michael quit his cabinet post last month after allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women were made against him.
He said he had ‘fallen below the high standards we require of the armed forces’.