United Kingdom

'Loitering' party-goer 'twice grabbed female exec on dancefloor at Christmas bash in City club' 

A female IT executive was allegedly grabbed between her legs twice by a 'loitering' party-goer while she was hosting her company's Christmas party at a high-end City club, a jury was told yesterday.

The 31-year-old account director, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was entertaining clients at Forge in the Square Mile in London when she was allegedly groped twice by Nabil Zerdi in December 2019.

Inner London Crown Court heard she allegedly shrugged off the first grope because she did not want to make a scene in front of clients, before she was allegedly grabbed again by Zerdi on the dancefloor. 

Zerdi, a 51-year-old Algerian from Isleworth, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexually assaulting the woman at the venue on December 19 and 20, 2019.

The alleged victim told the court: 'I got brushed past by some man who decided to touch me where he should not have. He reached under and cupped his hand and grabbed me. 

'He stared at me and I stared at him and pointed at him and said: 'No' and he casually walked off.'

The 31-year-old account director, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was entertaining clients at Forge in the Square Mile in London when she was allegedly groped twice by Nabil Zerdi (pictured) in December 2019 

Jurors were told the woman kept her composure and did not initially report the man because she was entertaining company clients. 

'I had a duty to my clients to try and continue the night,' she told the court, but said the same man repeated his behaviour in the early hours.

The jury were shown CCTV of the second alleged incident and the IT manager, wearing a sequinned dress, was approached by Zerdi, who had been loitering around the edge of the dancefloor.

'I felt the same hand again, more forceful, more pressured and there he was again,' she explained from behind a screen.

A female IT executive was allegedly grabbed between her legs twice by a 'loitering' party-goer while she was hosting her company's Christmas party at Forge in the Square Mile (pictured), a jury was told yesterday

'I felt someone come towards me and cup me again over my dress. The same guy who did it the first time was standing there.

'I am one hundred per cent sure it was the same man. The look that he gave me, I'll never forget and I did not want him to get away with it again or worse, do it to someone else.

'I grabbed his arm and said: 'Don't touch me like that again,' and I went for help.'

Prosecutor Richard Job told the jury the complainant spoke to staff after the second incident and Zerdi was detained until the police arrived.

'When he was questioned the defendant denied the first incident, but said the second incident was just his attempt to squeeze past and there was no sexual intention,' he added.

The trial continues.

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