The trial of a Paralympian accused of sexually assaulting a masseuse at a five-star hotel has collapsed after the prosecutor became unwell.
Lord Holmes of Richmond, who is blind, is alleged to have grabbed the massage therapist’s buttocks during a treatment last March.
The 48-year-old denies the allegations.
Jurors at Southwark Crown Court were dismissed only a day after the trial began as prosecutor Linda Strudwick was unable to continue.
High Court judge Mr Justice Nicol told jurors: “I am afraid I have been told Ms Strudwick is unwell; she was unable to continue this case.
“As a result of this, there is not somebody who can stand in at such short notice and I am afraid I have no option but to discharge you from dealing with this matter.”
The case will be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide if the peer will face a second trial.
Champion swimmer Lord Holmes won nine gold medals and broke 35 world records during his sporting career.
He later worked as a director of Paralympic integration for the London 2012 Games and took his seat as a Conservative peer in the House of Lords in 2013.
He is currently non-affiliated and does not belong to any parliamentary group.