Ex-Providence director in court over alleged sexual assault at England football match

Former Providence Investments Funds director, Steve Dewsnip has appeared in court in London accused of sexual assault, at an England football match at Wembley Stadium last year

The 49-year-old ex-director director of the collapsed Guernsey-based financial firm, allegedly fondled a young waitress’s bottom after a football international at Wembley Stadium, Harrow crown court was told on Thursday.

As reported in the The Evening Standard, BBC and various other news outlets, Dewsnip, of Castel, Guernsey, pulled the woman towards him, put one arm around her and groped her as she collected glasses following the match in September last year, the jury was told

Also known as the founder and former chairman of Guernsey FC, Dewsnip is accused of one count of sexual assault following England’s Euro 2016 qualifying game against Switzerland in September 2015. Dewsnip has denied the charges against him.

According to the BBC report, the court heard Dewsnip had enjoyed “alcohol-fuelled” hospitality at Wembley’s Bobby Moore Room. Prosecutor Miss Chetna Patel said: “It’s an exclusive restaurant and Mr Dewsnip had his own table.

“He engaged her in conversation and, without invitation, suddenly and deliberately reached around her body and pulled her closer to him and then began to fondle her bottom.”

The waitress – a student – said she felt unable to protest and tried not to make contact with him.

She added: “I felt like I was there quite a long time, but in reality I’d say it was minutes. I was shaken and some co-workers tried to reassure me.” When Mr Dewsnip’s defence team suggested she could have resisted, the young woman replied: “I wouldn’t dare”. The defence team also questioned why the floor manager, Thomas Duffy, did not intervene, the BBC report added.

The trial continues.

Providence collapse

Dewsnip resigned from his position as director at Providence in early August just weeks before Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) ordered the stricken fund to be wound up, deeming it insolvent. He also left his position at the amateur Guernsey football club in August for “family and professional reasons”.

As reported, Jersey’s financial services regulator shut down local IFA firm Lumiere Wealth, after an investigation into the sale of Providence Investment Funds to its clients.

Also, as reported, as a result, Lumiere Wealth’s founder and managing director, Christopher Byrne was arrested in October, charged with a £1m (US$1.2m) fraud linked to the funds.

As reported in August, Providence Global, a majority owner of Lumiere, was investigated for its links with Miami-based Providence Financial Investments for defrauding investors out of US$64m.

In September, a group of British expats named Dewsnip in a lawsuit against NM Rothschild over a Spanish property scheme which allowed them to take out mortgage worth up to 75% of the value of their homes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Deputy Editor, International Investment and Head of Video at Open Door Media Publishing. A fully qualified journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as an IFA.

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