Man accused of sexually assaulting two women in queue to see Queen’s coffin

Defendant, 19, accused of fleeing police by jumping into River Thames after exposing himself

Jane Dalton
Friday 16 September 2022 16:56 BST
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Two women were allegedly sexually assaulted as they queued to attend the Queen’s lying in state, a court has heard.

Adio Adeshine, 19, is accused of exposing himself and pushing into the mourners from behind as they waited in the queue at Victoria Tower Gardens on Wednesday evening after Westminster Hall opened its doors to the public.

Adeshine is said to have jumped into the River Thames in an attempt to evade police officers before coming out and being arrested.

He was remanded in custody on Friday after appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

The first members of the public were allowed into Westminster Hall to view the coffin and pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II at around 5pm on Wednesday.

The queue of thousands quickly stretched to nearly three miles, with people staying awake overnight.

Those wanting to join the queue were warned that it could reach up to 10 miles and that they might have to stand for up to three days without sitting down because the queue would be constantly moving.

Wearing a grey prison-issue tracksuit, Adeshine spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and address in Walworth, southeast London, before pleading not guilty to the charges.

Outlining the allegations, prosecutor Alex Adowale said: “The defendant was part of the queue to see the resting in state of Queen Elizabeth II.”

His alleged victims are said to have been among the thousands of people who have been lining the banks of the River Thames to view the Queen’s coffin.

The court heard the first complainant allegedly noticed Adeshine because she had not previously seen him, despite having waited in the queue with the same people for hours.

She is said to have noticed him getting closer to her before feeling something touching her back, then turned to see he had exposed himself.

The deputy chief magistrate refused to grant Adeshine bail, remanding him in custody until his next appearance at Southwark Crown Court on 14 October.

There are strict airport-security-style checks on members of the crowds, and anyone entering Westminster Hall has been told they may take only one small bag.

On Friday morning, entry to the back of the queue was suspended as it reached maximum capacity but was later reopened.

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