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Sir Michael Fallon's ex adviser denies groping woman

Richard Holden, 32, allegedly groped the woman's bottom and crotch during a Christmas party at his three-bedroom house in central London in December 2016.


Richard Holden, the former adviser to ex cabinet minister Sir Michael Fallon, has denied sexual assault 

A former special adviser to politician Sir Michael Fallon today denied sexually assaulting a woman at his £1million home.

Richard Holden, 32, allegedly groped the woman's bottom and crotch during a Christmas party at his three-bedroom house in central London in December 2016. 

The woman, who is in her 20s, reported the incident to the Conservative party's central office and the civil service authorities as well as making a complaint to the police.

Holden insisted the allegation was 'completely and utterly untrue' when he appeared at Westminster magistrates' court last month.

Wearing a pin-striped suit over a white shirt and blue spotted tie today, he denied a single count of sexual assault. 

Defending, Anya Lewis said he was keen to have the case tried 'as soon as possible' as the matter had been 'hanging over Mr Holden since February of last year'. He was charged in November.

But Southwark Crown Court heard the case could not be accommodated until May. 

Holden joined Conservative Campaign Headquarters in 2007 and later became deputy head of the party's press office and a special advisor to former leader of the House of Lords Baroness Tina Stowell.

The court heard today that he is eager to have the case heard as soon as possible

He was promoted to serve as a media adviser for Sir Michael last year before the former defence secretary resigned amid allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour back in November.

The London School of Economics graduate joined Newington Communications as an associate director in September of last year, but his contract was terminated once the firm found out he was charged with this offence.

Judge Michael Grieve, QC, said: 'I am sorry it is not possible to do it earlier but I take the view that this should be a fixed rather than a warned list trial so I fix it for May 21.'

Holden was bailed to return to the same court on that date.

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