Lord Holmes has been cleared of sexual assault ©Getty Images

Paralympic swimming champion Lord Christopher Holmes has been cleared of sexual assault following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Lord Holmes, who has been blind since the age of 14, was on trial after being accused of sexually assaulting a masseuse at the end of a 90-minute session in a London hotel last year.

Holmes was accused of grabbing the bottom of a female masseuse, as well as asking if she did "extras" as she finished a massage.

The complainant also said Holmes had asked: "Can I touch your boobs?".

Holmes denied wrongdoing.

He said the allegations had arisen out of a misunderstanding when he had asked to touch the masseuse’s face.

"I understand how difficult it is to imagine what it must be like to have no sight whatsoever, because up until I was 14 I couldn’t have any indication of what that would be like, but that really is my world,” he told jurors, according to the Associated Press.

"My world would stop here if I couldn’t contact that external world that you can get in the blink of an eye, and I try and use everything I’ve still got to try and construct that world.

"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."

Holmes was found not guilty after five hours of deliberation from jurors.

Lord Holmes was director of Paralympic integration at London 2012 ©Getty Images
Lord Holmes was director of Paralympic integration at London 2012 ©Getty Images

Lord Holmes won six gold medals at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona, before adding three more at Atlanta 1996.

In addition to his nine Paralympic gold medals, he broke 35 world records during his career in the pool.

He has held various roles in sport since his retirement, including director of Paralympic integration at London 2012.

Lord Holmes, who also claimed five Paralympic silvers and a bronze medal, was elevated to the House of Lords the following year.

The Briton had previously served as an ambassador for London's successful Olympic and Paralympic bid and was named deputy chairman of Channel 4, the Paralympic broadcaster in his home country, last year.