John Leslie cleared of sexual assault

22 June 2018, 18:26

John Leslie

Former TV presenter John Leslie has been acquitted of sexually assaulting a woman in an Edinburgh nightclub.

The ex-Blue Peter host was accused of putting his hand down the back of her trousers and touching her bottom as they danced on her hen night in the Atik nightclub in Edinburgh last June.

Following a two-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Adrian Cottam found him not proven and told him he was free to leave.

The Sheriff said he found it a "difficult decision" as the evidence from the bride to be "on its own appears to be a credible and reliable account".

He said taking the case as a whole the evidence from the defence "adds up to a combination of factors" that caused reasonable doubt.

Giving evidence, Leslie, on trial under his real name of John Stott, said: "There was no sexual assault.

"I did not put my hands down her trousers. It's something I would never do and have never done.

"I'm upset at the allegation."

He said she asked him to dance and he did so in a "proper and very respectful manner" and once the dance ended she continued to dance with her friends "as if nothing had happened".

He said when police told him of the allegation of sexual assault he replied "that's just not happened" and told them to check the CCTV.

He said he asked the club owner to keep the footage and paid to have it enhanced, telling the court: "I knew that I had done nothing wrong, I knew the allegations were false and I wanted every angle possible to show it."

Earlier his alleged victim, who cannot be named, gave evidence and said Leslie put his hand down the back of her trousers and touched her bottom.

She cried and she said nothing to gain by making the allegation up, saying it had affected relationships with her friends and husband and made what should have been one of the happiest years of her life one of the toughest.

The court also heard from her friend who said she felt where Leslie had his hands was "inappropriate" and the bride-to-be looked "scared".

The DJ that night gave evidence saying Leslie had been a "perfect gentleman" while dancing with the bride-to-be.

DNA experts said Leslie's DNA was found on the back waistband of the trousers but could have been transferred by indirect contact.