Art curator Milovan Farronato cleared of punching Groucho Club manager

"I’m delighted. This sort of thing has never happened to me"

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An art curator said he was “delighted” after being cleared of punching the manager of an exclusive private members’ club and calling her a “fat Polish bitch”.

Milovan Farronato, 41, from Milan, was accused of a racially aggravated assault on Agnieszka Sikorska which left her with a cut nose following the fracas in the Groucho Club in London’s Soho.

But District Judge Tan Ikram cleared him of the charge following a one-day trial in central London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Outside court, Mr Farronato said: “I’m delighted. It’s been a very difficult day for me. This sort of thing has never happened to me before. Thank God it’s over.”

Well-known members of the Groucho Club reportedly include former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher, actress Rachel Weisz and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg.

The incident happened in the early hours of 9 May last year at an a party organised by the Pace art gallery. Ms Sikorska said she had been alerted that Mr Farronato and two other guests who did not belong to the club had gone into a members’ bar and she asked them to leave.

The Groucho Club in Soho where the alleged assault on Agnieszka Sikorska took place (Teri Pengilley)

She claimed she had been punched two or three times after putting her hand on Mr Farronato.

The court was shown a picture of Ms Sikorska’s bloody nose and swollen eye following the attack.

Mr Farronato, who is the director of the Fiorucci Art Trust in west London’s Sloane Avenue, admitted that following an altercation he had slapped Ms Sikorska. But he claimed that it was an “instinctive” reaction in self-defence and came after the complainant had slapped him first for saying she had “terrible” hair.

Passing sentence, Mr Ikram said: “I have inconsistent evidence and I think it is significant inconsistent evidence.

“What probably happened I would not like to say. Can I be sure it happened the way the Crown say it happened? The answer is no.”

Mr Farronato, who also lectures on art in a Venice university, appeared in the dock with his hair tied in a bun wearing red lipstick, eye liner, a leather jacket decorated with hearts, black trousers and heels.