‘Unwarranted attack’ by judge on indecent assault accuser could discourage women coming forward, she claims

Court had heard the complainant had an ‘apparent desire for publicity’

Peter Stubley
Sunday 14 March 2021 23:26
<p>Hedge fund boss Crispin Odey was found not guilty of indecent assault after three-day trial in London</p>

Hedge fund boss Crispin Odey was found not guilty of indecent assault after three-day trial in London

A woman who accused hedge fund boss Crispin Odey of indecent assault has complained about a judge’s “unwarranted attack” on her character, according to a report.

The complainant contacted the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office after Mr Odey, 62, was cleared of groping her at his home in Chelsea in 1998, The Sunday Timesreported.

She claimed that comments made by district judge Nicholas Rimmer at the end of the case could “dissuade” other alleged victims from coming forward.

The judge, sitting at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, described the woman’s evidence as “riddled with troubling inconsistencies” and said she had an “apparent desire for publicity”.

Mr Odey, who was 39 at the time, was accused of putting his hand down her shirt to touch her breast and putting his hand up her skirt.

Read more:

Giving evidence in his defence, he said he propositioned the woman, then in her mid-20s, after she inquired where “this is going to end”, by replying: “If you’re lucky, it might end up in the bed.”

He had denied indecent assault, and said the allegation against him was “a horrible thing, a horrible slur”. Mr Odey was found not guilty last week.

The trial heard the complainant sent an email about the incident to Mr Odey in 2013, in which she referred to him as a “sleazy, deceitful man who likes to prey on the innocence of young women”.

She went to police in 2017 in the wake of the MeToo movement, which sprang out of widespread disclosures about disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.

Mr Odey’s defence counsel Crispin Aylett said the complainant had “waited and waited until events on the other side of the world led her to believe she might become a standard bearer for a regiment of other complaints against Crispin Odey”.

Returning his not-guilty verdict, the judge told Mr Odey: “I find troubling her obvious preoccupation with the press, with your money and her apparent desire for publicity of her complaint.”

In the woman’s letter of complaint, seen by The Sunday Times, she argued that the “unwarranted attack” on her character could “dissuade” other alleged victims from coming forward.

The complainant added that she believed his remarks “didn’t need to be so personal” and were “wholly inappropriate and offensive”.

She said in her complaint: “The cross-examination is gruelling ... Therefore at the end, the judge should have been more measured. A lot of women might be put off coming forward ... [they] are already quiet because of how much they have to lose and his comments could only amplify this.”

Additional reporting by Press Association