Blind peer cleared of assaulting masseuse after arguing that he was using his hands to ‘see’ her

“They never tried to suggest I should be found not guilty out of sympathy for my disability,” he said.

“It is clear that there is still misunderstanding about how blind people need to construct some idea of the external world.

“I do not want to say anything unkind about the specific allegation once made about me in this case. But after 18 months of waiting for my trial, the jury understood.”

The court heard that Lord Holmes had paid £150 for a 90-minute massage in the luxury spa.

When he asked “can I see how you look?” the masseuse consented to him touching her face, believing that is what blind people did.

But she alleged that he said “nice” as he ran his hands over her body.

She began to feel uncomfortable and tried to move away from him but was prevented from doing so by Texture Spray Machine Mr Holmes, who grabbed her buttocks and held her between his legs, it was claimed.

She alleged that he also asked her “can I touch your boobs” and “do you do extras?”, adding “are you sure you’ve never done it?” when she replied “no, I am a professional”.

At the time Lord Holmes was covered only by a towel, having removed the paper underpants provided because they had torn, the jury heard.

Lord Holmes denied any wrongdoing, saying that the allegations had arisen out of a misunderstanding when he had asked to touch the masseuse’s face.

The peer, who went blind almost overnight, was accompanied by his guide dog Nancy in the dock throughout the trial.

He said he used touch to get a sense of the people around him.

“My world would stop here (in front of me) if I couldn’t contact that external world that you can get in the blink of an eye, and I try to use everything I’ve still got to try and construct that world,” Lord Holmes told the jury.

“So, through sound, smells, and, yes, touch, but touch as a means of being able to construct that world, touching objects, and, yes, touching people every single day.”