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‘Doppelganger’ idea clears waiter of sex assaults
10:40am Saturday 2nd November 2013 in News
A WAITER who worked at the Randolph Hotel has been cleared of a string of sex attacks against women in the Cowley area.
Eric Berki, 28, of Ridgefield Road, Oxford, was acquitted yesterday of four counts of sexual assault that were reported over eight days in February.
The Hungarian worked at the Oxford hotel and also at at Oxford University’s Lady Margaret Hall.
Ian Hope, prosecuting, said Berki approached his first victim on February 7, two more on February 14, and one more on February 15.
The barrister said in all four cases the women were assaulted at around 10.30pm and all gave similar descriptions of the person who grabbed them. But he had to admit to the jury that a fifth charge was dropped when Berki was shown by CCTV to be nowhere near the area of the alleged assault, despite matching the assailant’s description.
And Joanna Durber, defending, said this proved there was a “doppelganger” of Mr Berki who appeared to have committed a sexual assault in Oxford.
She successfully argued that the other four assaults could be attributed to this unknown person as well, and it was all a case of “mistaken identity”.
Berki was found not guilty by the jury and walked free from Oxford Crown Court.