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Exclusive: Fieldfisher staffer guilty of sex attack on paralegal
08 July 2016
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A Fieldfisher IT worker has been convicted of sexually assaulting a young paralegal in the ladies loos at the firm's Christmas party.

The paralegal attended the party on the 9th floor of Fieldfisher's London office with over 200 other staff last December when IT helpdesk worker Varun Krishnakumar approached and introduced himself. After shaking her hand, he asked to take a selfie with her. Preferring not to have pictures of herself on random men's phones, she refused. In testimony given on Monday at Krishnakumar's trial for sexual assault at the Old Bailey, she told the court that she became aware of Krishnakumar "staring" at her wherever she went at the party. In tears on the witness stand, she said, "I felt uncomfortable but I didn't feel unsafe because I was at work".

But she said that as she washed her hands in the women's bathroom later that evening, Krishnakumar put his head round the door. Instead of retreating when she explained to him that he was in the wrong loos, he came in saying, "It's fine, don't worry about it".

    The 9th floor of Fieldfisher's London office

The six foot tall IT contractor then grabbed her from behind and tried to carry her into a cubicle. When she fought back, he hitched up her skirt and pulled down her tights. She hit him on the nose and although "he looked surprised", she said he didn't stop but "nuzzled" her. The paralegal told the court she was terrified as she thought she would be raped, but thought, "I cannot let this happen to me".

Her cries for help were heard by a trainee in the men's loos next door. The trainee, who cannot be named, burst in and surprised the attacker. CCTV footage of the Fieldfisher party showed Krishnakumar swiftly exiting the toilets and leaving the building. The quick-thinking trainee called the police, who spotted Krishnakumar walking in the other direction as they drove to Riverbank House. He was detained and taken back to the office, where he was identified by his victim and arrested.

Krishnakumar's defence claimed that he entered the ladies loos by accident while the paralegal was in a stall, and started washing his hands with no idea that she was there. His barrister suggested that when she left her cubicle, she was so shocked at seeing a man that she screamed, and subsequently made up the assault. However the jury found the IT worker guilty on Wednesday, and he will be sentenced on 4 August.

A spokesman for Fieldfisher told RollOnFriday, "Varun Krishnakumar was hired into our IT Helpdesk team on a short-term contract. Following his arrest on 3rd December Varun was suspended from work while the firm co-operated fully with the police, and he left the firm shortly afterwards". He added, "The thoughts of everyone at the firm are with the victim at this time".
 

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anonymous user
08/07/2016 09:38
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I did have a client who brought IT staff over from India (and of course this man here may well have been b orn and bred in the UK) who spent a lot of time training them in how to behave in an office in London just because different countries have different ways of treating women and other cultural issues too. It was relevant because we had a non poaching clause and we were able to explain the loss to us if you poached the individuals from us given the cost of bringing them over here and all the training we had to give them in English cultural norms etc.

Ah just looked up the Standard article on him which says:
"The Indian national, given leave to remain in Britain because his wife is an EU citizen, may now face a battle against deportation, Judge Nicholas Cooke QC warned. “It seems to me a custodial sentence is inevitable,” he said. [a]http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/married-it-worker-groped-female-colleague-at-city-law-firms-christmas-party-a3290246.html[/a]
anonymous user
08/07/2016 14:55
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"Krishnakumar's defence claimed that he entered the ladies loos by accident while the paralegal was in a stall, and started washing his hands with no idea that she was there. His barrister suggested that when she left her cubicle, she was so shocked at seeing a man that she screamed.............."

"........and subsequently made up the assault."

When your barrister comes up with a ridiculous back story and then just gives up halfway through.
anonymous user
10/07/2016 02:19
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I think he was working somewhere between the time when he left Field Fisher and being convicted. LinkedIn profile perhaps?
anonymous user
13/07/2016 13:59
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It is interesting to see the difference in tone between this article, and the comments, to the levity of the tone of the article and related comments about the Japanese lawyer losing his manhood.
anonymous user
14/07/2016 01:01
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Agreed @13:59, so much misogyny in this thread.