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Paralympian peer ‘grabbed masseuse on her buttocks’

Denies charge: Lord Christopher Holmes outside court PICTURE: PA

A BLIND peer grabbed a woman’s bottom and asked if she ‘did extras’ while she gave him a massage at a five-star hotel, a court heard.

Lord Christopher Holmes of Richmond, a nine-time Paralympic swimming gold medal winner, denies sexually assaulting the masseuse by grabbing her and asking to touch her breasts.

He sat with his guide dog Nancy as prosecutor Linda Strudwick told Southwark crown court he grabbed the woman near the end of a 90-minute treatment on March 7 last year.

The 48-year-old, who was wearing only a towel, asked to ‘see’ the woman through touch, jurors heard.

Ms Strudwick said the woman thought ‘this was what blind people do’, while Holmes admitted touching the woman on her face, shoulders, sides and resting his hands level with her hips.

Jurors were told she tried to move away. Ms Strudwick continued: ‘Mr Holmes stopped her by grabbing her buttocks. He said “Nice” and asked if he could touch her boobs.

‘He asked if she “did extras”, pointing to his crotch. She said “No, I am a professional” and he said, “Are you sure you’ve never done it?”’

The court heard Holmes had told the woman ‘she could go higher if she wanted to’ while massaging his thigh.

Holmes, of Richmond, west London, later told police: ‘I cannot be sure exactly where my hands rested but there was absolutely no intention to touch her in a sexual way. It was purely to give me an idea of her appearance.’

Ms Strudwick said Holmes knew sighted people were often embarrassed and did not know what to do around blind people, and he used that.

‘Mr Holmes thought that, if he was not successful in his bid for sexual release, he could talk his way out of it,’ she added. The trial continues.