Company boss, 51, is cleared of groping woman’s bottom at Lord’s test match but could face jail for faking ID card to get into England v India match
- James Lattimer was accused of kissing the woman and ‘grabbed her bum cheek’
- The woman alerted police but was unable to identify Lattimer until a year later
- Judge said he could not be sure victim’s identification of Lattimer was correct
- Lattimer, 51, was cleared of sexual assault but will be sentenced for fraud
- He used a doctored VIP pass to get into the zone that has a 29-year waiting list
James Lattimer was accused of kissing the woman and allegedly ‘grabbed her bum’
A company boss has been cleared of groping a woman’s bottom at a Lord’s test match but could face jail for faking an exclusive pavilion membership card.
James Lattimer, 51, was accused of kissing the woman and allegedly ‘grabbed her bum cheek’ during the England v India test match on 9 August 2018.
The woman alerted police but was unable to identify Lattimer until she spotted him on the second day of the Ashes Test at Lord’s on 15 August last year.
District Judge Andrew Hamilton said he could not be sure the victim’s identification of Lattimer was correct.
‘At the outside of this case I expressed some concerns about the identification of this case,’ he said.
‘This is in no way critical of the claimant’s behaviour, in my view she has behaved commendably.
‘Not only to pursue her own grievances but also to prevent this happening again.
‘Police are required to follow important safeguard measures in order to prevent misidentification of people accused of sexual assault.
‘These safeguards were not in place here, there was at least a possibility of avoiding this dilemma by police interviewing and asking to participate in identification of the friends on the day in question.
‘The claimant identified the defendant a year and a week after she was attacked.
‘The Crown have got to make me sure beyond any reasonable doubt, as soon as any doubt on my part creeps in that doubt must be ruled in his favour.
The woman alerted police but was unable to identify Lattimer until she spotted him on the second day of the Ashes Test at Lord’s on 15 August last year. View of Lord’s shown
‘There is a strong possibility that during the identification process she was identifying the person she saw in 2019 and not 2018.
The magistrate said differences in between the ‘ruddy short blonde hair’ colour she described in 2018 and the ‘strawberry blonde hair’ in 2019 had caused him to doubt the identification evidence.
He also pointed out there were 25 members named James present at the pavilion that day, many of them middle aged and wearing the Lord’s orange and red striped tie with a suit jacket.
Lattimer was cleared of sexual assault but will be sentenced for fraud by using a doctored pass that he claimed he had bought on Ebay at Westminster Magistrates Court on 12 February.
The pass belonged to a late member of Lord’s and was a photocopy that he had doctored with his photograph.
The Specsavers Test against India at Lord’s in 2018 was the first to be cancelled due to heavy rainfall since 2001 forcing MCC to refund £2m-worth of matchday tickets
He had bought the cheapest possible ticket to enter the grounds before making his way to the exclusive pavilion area with the best seats.
Lords membership costs £1,000 and there is a 29-year waiting list.
The Specsavers Test against India at Lord’s in 2018 was the first to be cancelled due to heavy rainfall since 2001 forcing MCC to refund £2m-worth of matchday tickets.
Disgruntled fans waited for the showers to clear but umpires eventually abandoned the day at 4.50pm.
Umpire Aleem Dar walks out to inspect the pitch as his umbrella breaks before the England v India International Test Match Series, 2nd Test Day 1 at Lord’s in 2018
Lattimer earlier told the court the charges had ‘ruined his favourite game.’
A spokesperson for the MCC said in a statement read to the court: ‘Becoming a member costs £1000 and the current waiting time to become a member is 29 years.
‘There are currently 12,000 on the waiting list.
‘Membership is highly desirable and there is no equivalent anywhere in the world of cricket.’
Lattimer, of Green Road, Bournemouth, denied and was cleared of sexual assault but admitted a charge of making an article for the use of fraud.
He was bailed ahead of sentence at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on February 12.
Judge Hamilton warned Lattimer ‘all sentencing options’ were open to the court.