Millionaire businessman, 39, ‘sexually assaulted woman at yacht club’

A millionaire businessman sexually assaulted a woman by drunkenly grabbing her between the legs at a yacht club, a court heard.

Peter Bonham Christie, 39, denies touching the woman as she smoked a cigarette outside the private members club in London on November 30, 2018.

The Millfield-educated entrepreneur is the director of bottled water company Isis Office Hydration as well as a luxury transport business.

He is also a record-holding yacht and powerboat racer and in 2003 appeared on ITV1's For Love Or Money where lonely-heart millionaires try to find love.

Isleworth Crown Court heard Bonham Christie had been out with a client on the night of the alleged assault and had given a speech at Bonhams auction house earlier in the evening followed by drinks at Claridge’s.

Emma Smith, prosecuting, said: "The prosecution’s case is that whilst the victim was standing outside the club having a cigarette, Mr Bonham Christie came up to her, he put his hand between her legs and he grabbed her crotch.

"Mr Bonham-Christie denies that he touched her in that way and so it is a straightforward issue of fact for you to decide and determine in this case."

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The alleged victim, who is due to give evidence tomorrow, is said to have been at the club with her boyfriend and another male friend.

She was introduced to Bonham-Christie inside and after her boyfriend left, she and the friend stood outside the club for a cigarette.

Ms Smith said this is when Bonham Christie came outside and grabbed her crotch.

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She said: "She pushed him off but didn’t say anything because she was so shocked by what had just happened. Her friend said to the defendant 'what do you think you are doing?' and the defendant’s reaction was to apologise to him but not apologise to her.

"Then he went back into the club. The male friend will tell you he received a call from the defendant and the defendant apologised and said to him 'you have got to get me out of a hole' and the defendant was asking for the victim’s phone number.

"But you will hear he didn’t think it was appropriate for him to hand over her details."

Jurors heard Bonham Christie told police in an interview in March 2019 he had not assaulted the woman.

Ms Smith said: "In his interview, Mr Bonham Christie described the victim’s male friend as very drunk and he said he had made some comments to the defendant’s client about Mr Bonham Christie taking cocaine.

"Mr Bonham Christie said he went outside to have a word with him, they had what he described as a 'friendly sort of argument' then he had gone back into the club. He accepted he had been drinking but said that he hadn’t touched the victim."

The trial continues.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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