Peer and former Paralympic athlete Lord Holmes of Richmond denied sexually assaulting a masseuse at a London hotel, when he appeared at Southwark Crown Court in the British capital on Monday, according to reports from inside the court.

The former swimming champion is accused of touching the woman at a five-star hotel in central London in March.

Lord Holmes, who is blind, was seen arriving at court alongside his instructing solicitor Andrew Gilmore, who guided him into the building.

The peer pleaded not guilty to the charge and confirmed his name as Christopher Holmes, reportedly confirming both his date of birth and his British nationality.

His unconditional bail was renewed by Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC, and a trial date has yet to be scheduled.

A nine-time Paralympic swimming champion, Lord Holmes broke 35 World records before taking on key roles in sport management and politics.

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Xinhua 22 Feb 2020 09:44 CET