May 2003

Tycoon jailed for assaulting girl

A wealthy businessman has been jailed for a year for indecently assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

Baron Bloom, 28, a property developer, from St John’s Wood, north-west London, is said to have taken advantage of the schoolgirl after impressing her with his wealth.

He denied the attack but was found guilty following a trial in December.

Old Bailey judge Recorder Stephen Kramer QC told him: “Instead of giving her sanctuary, you indecently assaulted her in a predatory way.”

Bloom was later cleared of indecently assaulting her 14-year-old friend following a retrial.

He told the court he thought she was an older teenager.

The 15-year-old girl told the court she took the 14-year-old to hospital when she collapsed after drinking too much champagne with Bloom and his friends at a Mayfair nightclub, in September 2001.

Later, the two girls went to Bloom’s flat because it was too late to go home.

She said Bloom fondled her as she lay in a double bed with him, his friend and the 14-year-old.

The teenager said: “I kept pushing his hand off me. Repeatedly he kept trying and I kept saying `Stop it, stop it’.”

The girl said she told her mother, who put a note under Bloom’s door warning him she would go to the police if he contacted her again.

The judge ordered Bloom’s name be placed on the sex offender’s register for 10 years.

He said him: “Under-age girls must be protected by these courts.”