A former Charterhouse pupil accused of groping a venue manager has been cleared by a jury after he explained the incident was a practical joke that went wrong.
Alexander Broke-Smith, 23, was alleged to have sexually assaulted the woman while attending a joint 18th and 21st birthday party in north London with his girlfriend on July 12 last year.
The couple were with their friends at the bar when the manager at the north London arts centre came over and asked about the tab.
Alexander Broke-Smith, pictured, was accused of sexually assaulting a female bar manager during a birthday party in north London on July 12 last year
Broke-Smith, pictured outside Wood Green Crown Court denied assaulting the woman
Shipping broker Broke-Smith was accused of cupping her bottom and vaginal area from behind as she chatted to staff.
But he told jurors he only meant to play ‘a sort of childish game where you tap someone on the shoulder and no-one is there.’
He added: ‘The motive was because she had been rude, I wanted to play a very childish practical joke.’
During his evidence, Broke-Smith explained that he had asked one of his friends to put out their hand so that he could knock her arm into the alleged victim.
But at the last moment the friend moved her hand away so that he hit the venue manager on the lower back.
‘It was just a flick round with an open hand. I didn’t see where it touched her. I couldn’t have pinched anyone because my hand was at full reach.
‘I was trying to make sure I wasn’t seen so the woman would turn around to see who touched her.’
Broke-Smith was accused of cupping her bottom and vaginal area from behind as she chatted to staff
He said: ‘I was desperate to make a good impression as there were only two people there that I knew. I knew it was