Tory minister’s aide ‘assaulted girl aged 17 in the Commons’
A TORY minister’s researcher sexually assaulted a teenager in Westminster before joking, ‘at least you can say you’ve had sex in Parliament now’, a court heard yesterday.
Callum Warren, 26, is accused of assaulting the 17- year- old girl while she was working as a parliamentary assistant for a Tory MP.
The ‘sexually aggressive’ researcher, who was working for Tory MP Chris Skidmore, is said to have pursued the student, sexually assaulting her on four separate occasions.
Southwark Crown Court heard that the girl woke up on a House of Commons sofa after a night out drinking to find the defendant on a sofa next to her, laughing as he told her she could ‘lay claim to having had sex in Parliament’.
The alleged victim claims Warren targeted her because she was ‘the first girl to ever turn him down’.
The court heard that she ‘blacked out’ after a night out drinking with parliamentary staff just before Christmas 2016 and woke up next to Warren in the office of Mr Skidmore, who is now universities minister.
Catherine Farrelly, prosecuting, said: ‘ She was upset because she had just broken up with her boyfriend and one of the aims of them going out together was to cheer her up.
‘She had a lot to drink and not much to eat. She woke up in the office at 3am in the morning and she had passed out on a sofa. He was asleep on the sofa next to her.
‘ Having woken up, she began to gather her things together and the defendant woke up. The defendant then began asking her if she was on the Pill.
‘She asked him what he was talking about and he told her they had had sex.
‘The defendant then joked with her about how she could lay claim to having had sex in Parliament.’
The court heard that the alleged victim still does not know whether they had sex.
The pair had met a few months previously when the student did a trial week’s work in Westminster before she went to university.
Miss Farrelly said: ‘She had an interest in politics and in fact she was already involved i n her l ocal Conservative Party and was al r e ady involved as a case worker for her local MP. Her plan at that time was to go to university in London and continue to work in Westminster as a parliamentary assistant.’
But the alleged victim became concerned about parliamentary gossip after Warren allegedly pursued her throughout 2017, trying to kiss her on multiple occasions.
Jurors heard that Warren shoved the teenager against a wall in an underpass and assaulted her. A month later he is said to have followed her back to her boss’s office and sexually assaulted her after another work event.
Miss Farrelly said: ‘ The defendant closed the door, turned off the lights and then pushed the woman against the wall and started kissing her. She tried to push him off her but he insisted and kept trying to kiss and grab her.
‘She told police while all of this was going on, she was crying hysterically.
‘The defendant, however, did not stop there. The prosecution say that he then t urned her around and pushed her down into a chair. She was still crying.
‘She kept pushing him off and eventually she was able to push him hard enough to get him off her.
‘She was in such a panic to leave that she left behind her pass to get into Houses of Parliament and some of her belongings.’
The court heard t hat Warren then taunted her at a Tube station.
The alleged victim’s mother persuaded her to tell her boss, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
In a police interview recording played to the court, the young woman said: ‘He came on to me and tried to take it further and I was like, “no, absolutely not, we’re going to work together”.
‘And then he said, “you’re the first girl to ever turn me down, no girl’s ever done this to me”.’
Warren, who no longer works for Mr Skidmore, denies three counts of sexual assault and one of sexual assault by penetration. The trial continues.
‘She was crying hysterically’