John Leslie arrives at court for sexual assault trial

John Leslie arrives at court in Edinburgh today two face trial for sexual assault

Former TV presenter John Leslie put his hand down a woman’s trousers as they danced on her hen night, a court has heard.

The woman, who can not be identified, was on a hen party at Atik nightclub in Edinburgh last June when the alleged sexual assault took place.

She said she saw Leslie when they entered the club and recognised him from television, particularly Blue Peter.

Leslie, 53, was arrested after she went to police and went on trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today.

Leslie, appearing under his real name John Stott, denies putting his hand under the woman’s clothing and touching her bare bottom.

The woman was the first to give evidence and said she had spoken to Leslie during the night about football, some of his ex-girlfriends and speculation he could appear in TV programme Celebrity Big Brother.

While dancing with friends and a stag party later in the night she said Leslie approached her and said ‘Be careful, you’re getting married’.

She said she thought he was being ‘protective’ and suggested they dance together.

Leslie had a hand on her waist and she had a hand on his shoulder, the court heard.

The woman said: ‘We’d been going in circles then he pulled me closer. I did feel uncomfortable but thought I was maybe reading too much into it.’

She went on to get married and told the court the incident had impacted on her relationship with her husband. 

It is alleged that Leslie put his hand on a woman's bottom in Atik nightclub in Edinburgh

It is alleged that Leslie put his hand on a woman’s bottom in Atik nightclub in Edinburgh

She said she gave her friend ‘a look’ to make her aware she was uncomfortable, adding: ‘After that I felt his hand go down my trousers at the back.

‘I didn’t know how to react. I made even more of a look to my friend because I knew I needed to be out of that situation.’

She said Leslie touched her skin but was not sure if he had put his hand beneath her underwear.

Once a friend pulled her away the woman told the court that she danced briefly with her hen party to ‘pretend it hadn’t happened’.

She added: ‘But then I got really upset so moved to the booth. I asked my friend something like ‘why did he think he could do that or what did I do to make him do that?’

She went outside with a friend and her sister-in-law who said they should tell someone, the court heard.

She said they told a female bouncer and later a police officer at the nightclub who took her to a station to make a statement.

Leslie, appearing under his real name John Stott, denies putting his hand under the woman's clothing

Leslie, appearing under his real name John Stott, denies putting his hand under the woman’s clothing

CCTV of the pair dancing in the busy club was played to the court and the woman said it could not be seen exactly when the alleged incident happened.

Asked by fiscal depute Fiona Nairn how she feels now, the woman said it had impacted on her relationship with her husband, friends and work.

She said: ‘It’s been one of the toughest years of my life when it should have been the happiest.’

Defence lawyer Derek Ogg QC reviewed the CCTV with the woman and said ‘we don’t see a hand going under [clothing] or coming out’.

Mr Ogg put it to the woman the CCTV footage showed the dance with Leslie ended ‘voluntarily’ rather than with a friend’s intervention.

She said: ‘That’s not how I see it. I just wanted out of that situation.’

It was also established that the woman was taken home by two police officers and given paper bags to place her clothing in with no forensic protocol in place.

Forensic scientist Sandra Coupar-White told the court she examined the woman’s trousers, pants and tutu for potential DNA.

She said a mixed profile was found on the trouser waistband likely made up of touch DNA from the woman, Leslie and two other ‘minor contributors’.

She told Ms Nairn that DNA could be passed indirectly from holding hands during by dancing but said direct contact with the inside of the waistband was more likely.

The results from the pants and tutu were inconclusive, Ms Coupar-White said.

Mr Ogg questioned if it was possible for Leslie’s DNA to be passed from one item of clothing to another.

The witness said: ‘Secondary transfer is possible.’

The trial before Sheriff Adrian Cottam continues on Friday.


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