Crispin Odey has been acquitted of indecent assault after facing allegations of groping a young woman more than 20 years ago.
Judge Nicholas Rimmer told the hedge fund manager that he can leave the court with his “good character intact”.
Odey had been accused of lunging at and groping a young female banker in “an octopussy-type manoeuvre” in his home in 1998. As he took the stand Thursday morning Odey described the allegations as a “horrible slur”.
But he was acquitted later this afternoon, with the judge saying his accuser’s evidence was “littered with troubling inconsistencies” and calling her “at the very least an unreliable historian”.
See also: Revealed: Odey AM quietly rebrands £1.3bn of funds as Crispin Odey’s next trial date looms
Odey takes the stand
The hedge fund manager testified at Westminster Magistrates Court earlier today, saying that he invited the woman to his house because he thought it would be an “entertaining and interesting” evening.
According to Odey’s recollection, the complainant asked him why he was being so nice to her and “where do you think this is all going to end?” to which he replied “In bed, hopefully”. He claims he would “absolutely not” have lunged at her.
“She immediately became very angry,” Odey told the court. “I’d totally misunderstood her question.”
“I tried my luck and I gave an answer which was basically the wrong answer,” he continued. “I’m embarrassed to say that if she’d gone along with it, I’d have gone further.”
The evening “ended very abruptly”, Odey said, but he “didn’t have much of a memory of how it started.”
Odey says indecent assault charge is a ‘horrible slur’ and a ‘great shame’
The complainant told the court last month that she believed the meeting might “further her career”. However, the Odey Asset Management founder denied abusing his position, claiming the woman was “attractive and intelligent” and that the meeting was “social”.
The Crown Prosecution Service told the court that Odey had used his position “for subterfuge” to isolate and then assault the woman.
Odey’s lawyer Crispin Aylett QC again highlighted inconsistencies in the story and contradictions given in evidence which he argued should see the case thrown out last month.
“It is not so easy to be consistent about the detail if it did not happen,” Aylett said. “[The complainant] is so determined to win this case that she will say anything to put this case in the best possible light.”
“It is a horrible slur and a great shame,” Odey said. “I’ve tried not to think about it but it’s very hard to bear.”