As Graeme Stening accepts a caution for outraging public decency, talk turns to his anonymous female companion and whether she should be investigated for perverting the course of justice
The shamed City lawyer caught in a rush hour tryst outside Waterloo station has, according to press reports, accepted the criminal charge. But everyone’s much more interested in the fate of the unnamed QC he was caught with.
52 year-old Graeme Stening, general counsel at private equity outfit Doughty Hanson, can breathe a sigh of relief this morning after he accepted a caution for his part in a very public drunken romp outside the busy London station. This means he no longer has the threat of a jail term hanging over his head.
But while the married father of three has been thrust into the media spotlight, his female companion has kept well out of it.
This is because the top barrister alleges the senior lawyer sexually assaulted her, and sexual assault complainants are entitled to lifelong anonymity under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 even if there is no prosecution or if the allegation is later withdrawn.
For eight long months, there was chitter chatter that Stening — who had already been charged with outraging public decency — would also face sexual assault charges.
Earlier this month, however, it was confirmed that he would not, throwing more momentum behind tabloid claims that the ‘Waterloo sex QC’ made the accusation to keep her identity a secret. Media lawyer Mark Stephens described the case as “an abject lesson in the manipulation of the anonymity laws around allegations of sexual assault.”
For Stening the saga is now drawing to a close, but the fortunes of the unnamed QC still hang in the balance.
It has been reported this morning that two independent witnesses have confirmed the high-profile barrister “played a willing part in the sexual activity”, and talk has now begun to turn to whether she should be investigated for perverting the course of justice.
Speaking to The Times (£) Stening’s solicitor Amarjit Bhachu said:
It was apparent from the outset that the complainant’s motive was to obtain anonymity. Despite the police taking the decision not to take any further action, the complainant has achieved exactly what she wanted by taking this calculated course of action.
I hope that the police will review the complainant’s actions and the independent evidence with a view to bringing charges against her for attempting to pervert the course of justice or at the very least wasting police time.
For now, however, the Metropolitan Police Service has said:
There is no investigation into perverting the course of justice.