Man who tried to sexually assault woman in lift boasted about his ‘good looks’

A drunk venture capitalist tried to sexually assaulted a woman in a lift then boasted about his “good looks” to police.

Pavel Grushin was at a Christmas party at the Royal Festival Hall in London when he cornered the terrified victim in a lift last year.

Now the 26-year-old is facing two-and-half years in jail after his victim revealed the devastating impact the attack had on her life in court – leaving the judge to brand him a “coward”.

When he was arrested at his Kingston-upon-Thames home, Grushin boasted about his ‘good looks’ to police and urged them to check his Instagram account.

The victim told the court how Grushin, who attended a £26,500-a-year private Mayfair college, grabbed her wrist when she tried to leave the lift, pulling her back in.

Grushin, a University of Cambridge graduate in Entrepreneurial Studies, was convicted of common assault and attempted sexual assault after a trial.

District Judge Julie Cooper sent the case to crown court for sentencing after the victim read out an impact statement in court.

Commending the victim’s bravery, the judge labelled Grushin a “coward” and said the impact on the woman was so severe that he could face up to two years and seven months in prison.

The victim told Croydon Magistrates’ Court she has been left suffering anxiety and panic attacks after the incident and has had to leave her job.

She said she has seen a therapist, has undergone psychotherapy and was also diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder in June this year after suffering from insomnia, headaches, chest pain, breathing difficulties and a rash on her hands

She said: “I had a flashback of him trapping me in the lift. I felt the same fear I did in December. That he would grope me or worse rape me if the lift doors had closed.

“I have never suffered from a panic attack before and this just added to my ongoing stress.”

The woman said she struggles to socialise with friends and family and has a fear of getting into lifts.

She said: “He made me feel powerless. Anything minutely related to intimacy feels like a trigger. I should be able to just focus on my husband but I just can’t.

“This has affected me physically and emotionally. My career has taken a step back.

“When I think about the incident I always see his face. He has taken so much from me in both my personal and professional life.

“He came into my life and completely changed everything about it and everything about me.”

Judge Cooper said: “Having heard from the young woman in these proceedings, of the stress and psychological harm it caused her, it tells me that the sentencing guidelines would suggest that this offence really falls into severe psychological harm.”

She told Grushin, who said he could not afford a solicitor to represent him at today’s hearing, that he could face jail.

He was bailed and will next appear for sentencing at a court and date to be fixed.