Former TV presenter John Leslie is CLEARED of sexually assaulting woman on her hen night after he was accused of putting his hand down her trousers as pair danced in a nightclub
- Former Blue Peter host was accused of touching woman's bottom during hen do
- Sexual assault charge was found to be 'not proven' by Edinburgh Sheriff Court
- Leslie said: 'I didn't put my hands down her trousers. It's something I'd never do'
Former Blue Peter host John Leslie (pictured today leaving court) was acquitted of sexual assault at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Former Blue Peter presenter John Leslie has been cleared of sexually assaulting a woman he danced with at a VIP club night.
Following a two-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Adrian Cottam gave a 'not proven' verdict and told him he was free to leave.
Leslie, 53, was accused of putting his hand down a woman's trousers and touching her bottom as they danced at her hen night in Atik nightclub in Edinburgh last June.
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.'
DNA experts said Leslie's DNA was found on the back waistband of the trousers but could have been transferred by indirect contact.
The 53-year-old (pictured today with his father) denied the charge, which was found 'not proven' by Sheriff Adrian Cottam
Leslie, on trial under his real name of John Stott, was accused of putting his hand down a woman's trousers and touching her bottom as they danced at her hen night
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'.
Leslie claimed 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.
Giving evidence the ex telly host said: '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'
She said she had recognised the TV star and the pair had talked about football, his famous ex-girlfriends and the possibility of him appearing on Celebrity Big Brother.
But she said the atmosphere changed while the pair danced together and she claimed he had put his hand down her trousers and touched her bottom at the capital nightclub on June 25 last year.
She said she felt 'uncomfortable' as he placed one hand on her shoulder and the other on her waist.
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'.
Club DJ Nicholas Mowat, 50, who has been friends with Leslie since high school, said he saw Leslie dancing ballroom-style with the bride-to-be, who cannot be named for legal reasons, from his DJ booth that night.
Giving evidence at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Mr Mowat said: 'John was just pirouetting... John had his hands on the back of the bride and he was a perfect gentleman, dancing around the dancefloor as normal.
'I didn't see any signs of her being distressed with him or being anxious to get away from him in any way.'
He said he had a good view of the dancefloor from his elevated DJ booth and when the song ended Leslie kissed the woman on cheek and walked off.
He added: 'I wasn't 100% on them but I would have noticed if there was some problem or if I needed to call a door steward over which I never saw at at all.'
A friend of Leslie told the court today that he was the perfect gentleman during the evening
The court also heard from the bride-to-be's friend who said she felt the way Leslie was touching her friend was 'inappropriate' and she looked 'scared'.
The complainant's friend said: 'They were dancing and I could see he had his hand on her lower back which I felt was inappropriate, I would have felt uncomfortable if it was me.
'The next time I looked up I couldn't see his hand any more. I could only see the top of his wrist. It was at the top of her tutu. At this point she looked scared.'
She said she cut in and danced with her friend, who initially said she was fine but then started crying and later reported the incident to the police, despite having not wanting to at first.
Under cross examination by defence lawyer Derek Ogg QC, she denied having any prejudices against Leslie, saying she did not know who he was.
Questioned if the position of his hand is appropriate for a ballroom dance style hold, she said: 'I don't think it is appropriate for hands to be placed on lower backs.
'I knew that my friend was about to get married and I didn't think that dancing with this person, the way he had his hand on her, I didn't think it was appropriate.'
The disputed incident happened during a night out in this Edinburgh nightclub last June
She denied telling the bride-to-be something inappropriate had happened rather than the other way round.
On Monday the court heard from the bride-to-be who said Leslie had put his hand down her trousers at the back while they were dancing and she had nothing to gain from making up the allegations.
Speaking outside court, Leslie told reporters: 'First of all, I'm obviously relieved at the court's verdict today, clearing my name. Because I know I did nothing wrong that night a year ago and I've said so from the very beginning.
'CCTV and DNA prove that no assault took place. It's now time to move on from this year of hell.
'I'd like to thank my mum, dad and my brother and those close to me for getting me through this ordeal. Without their support, I wouldn't be here today. It's been quite a process. That's all I can say.'
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