A ‘cowardly’ venture capitalist who tried to molest a terrified woman at a glitzy party before boasting to police about his good looks was today (WED) warned he faces jail.
Cambridge University graduate Pavel Grushin, 26, cornered his victim in a lift during a Christmas bash at London’s Royal Festival Hall before grabbing her wrist “very, very tightly,” a court heard.
Grushin, who attended a £26,500-a-year private Mayfair college, had started his champagne-fuelled night out at a Pall Mall club before eventually moving on to the exclusive members-only Tramp nightspot, near Piccadilly.
His victim, who tried to escape his clutches, was praised for her bravery by a District Judge.
Grushin had been seen hanging around near the victim, leaning on a bannister for balance, at around 11pm on Thursday December 12 last year, Croydon Magistrates Court was told.
The victim told the court how he entered a lift with her before moving towards her, spreading his arms to corner her, and tried to kiss her three times before she managed to escape.
Grushin denied the attack but was found guilty of common assault and attempted sexual assault following an earlier trial.
The court heard that when he was arrested at his home, Grushin boasted about his good looks to police and urged them to check his Instagram account.
He was due to be sentenced today (WED), but the court heard that the impact of his crime was so severe that only an immediate custodial sentence of at least one year would be appropriate so he would have to be sentenced at a Crown Court instead.
The court was told how his victim had been suffering from PTSD and was taking sleeping tablets, antidepressants, and using an inhaler to help with panic attacks.
She told the court she has been forced to change careers, and cannot socialise with friends like she did before.
District Judge Julie Cooper told her she was “very, very brave.”
The victim, standing behind a curtain so she could not be seen by Grushin, said: “I have become withdrawn and quiet around my friends and colleagues.
“I’m usually a confident person, but I have noticed I am more wary of male strangers especially on public transport when standing too close.
“The crime has had an effect on my marriage and I feel I do not want to be touched intimately.
“I’m extremely angry about what this man did to me and how it had affected me, I’m trying to get on with my life.
“He has taken so much from me in both my professional and personal life.
“He came into my life and completely changed everything about it and everything about me, he took away my power, sense of self, and trust in men.
“I need him to know how wrong he was that night and the devastating impact his actions have had, and still have, on my life”
Grushin, of Kingston upon Thames, south west London, sat in the dock wearing a blue and white striped shirt under a dark jacket with his blonde hair swept back.
He told the court he did not want any legal representation and “couldn’t afford it.”
Turning to him, District Judge Cooper said: “Having heard from the young woman in these proceedings of the distress and psychological harm you have caused her, it tells me that the sentencing guidelines would indicate that this offence really falls into what is called Category One where there is severe psychological harm.
“This case clearly crossed the custodial threshold, absolutely, positively. And because of that, and because of the categorisation in which I place it, I am sending you to the Crown Court for sentence.
“I suggest you instruct a solicitor immediately to assist you, you will need it and you must anticipate a custodial sentence.
“The victim impact statement will be as powerful to the Crown Court as it has been today.”
She added: “Given that you had the trial in these proceedings and forced this young woman to give evidence does not go in your favour because her courage is the extreme opposite to your cowardess in that matter.”
Grushin will next appear at Croydon Crown Court on a date to be confirmed.
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