Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

John Leslie cleared of sexual assault in Edinburgh nightclub

John Leslie Image copyright PA
Image caption The case against John Leslie was found not proven at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

Former television presenter John Leslie has been cleared of sexually assaulting a woman who was celebrating her hen night in Edinburgh.

Mr Leslie had been accused of putting his hand down the back of the woman's trousers while the pair were dancing in the Attik nightclub last June.

The 53-year-old denied the allegation and after a two-day trial a sheriff found the case against him not proven.

Mr Leslie told Edinburgh Sheriff Court he had acted like a perfect gentlemen.

Giving evidence at Edinburgh Sheriff Court under his real name John Stott, he had described dancing with the woman.

He said he then made his excuses and wished her well when the song finished.

Mr Leslie, who used to present children's TV show Blue Peter in the late 1980s, told the court that half an hour later a nightclub steward told him an allegation had been made against him.

Image caption The incident was alleged to have happened at the Atik nightclub in Edinburgh

Asked by the prosecution if he thought he was untouchable that night Mr Leslie replied "I did not put my hands down her trousers. It's something I would never do. It's something I would never have done. I'm upset at the allegation."

Earlier, a nightclub DJ and friend of Mr Leslie, Nicholas Mowat, gave evidence.

Mr Mowat, 50, who said he had been friends with Mr Leslie since high school, said he saw Mr Leslie dancing ballroom-style with the woman in the club.

Good view

He said: "John was just pirouetting. John had his hands on the back of the bride and he was a perfect gentleman, dancing around the dance floor 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."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Former television presenter John Leslie appeared under his real name of John Stott

The witness insisted he had a good view of the dancefloor from his elevated DJ booth and said that when the song ended, Mr Leslie kissed the woman on the 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 all."

The court also heard from the bride-to-be's friend, who said that the way that Mr Leslie was touching her friend was "inappropriate" and that she had looked "scared".

'Top of his wrist'

She 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."

The woman said she cut in between the pair and danced with her friend, who initially said that she was fine, but then started crying and later reported the incident to police.

'Nothing to gain'

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Derek Ogg QC, the witness denied having any prejudices against Mr Leslie, and said she did not know who he was.

Questioned about whether or not the position of his hand was appropriate for a ballroom dance-style hold, the witness 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."

On Monday, the court heard from the bride-to-be, who said Mr Leslie had put his hand down her trousers at the back while they were dancing and that she had nothing to gain from making up the allegations.

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