Paul Gascoigne arrives at Teesside Crown Court for the second day of his sexual assault trial. He is due to give evidence
Paul Gascoigne had downed ‘three or four cans’ of alcohol before he ‘forced his tongue into mouth of woman on train’, a court heard today.
Gascoigne, 52, was drunk and swearing on a train at Darlington in August last year, when he tried to sit on and kissed a woman who had moved to get away from him, Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday.
He allegedly took the woman’s face in his hands and forced a kiss on her lips, causing another passenger to intervene and help her.
When police interviewed Gascoigne at his hotel in Jesmond, Newcastle, he allegedly said he had ‘kissed a fat lass’.
The former England and Spurs star added that the woman was being abused by other passengers because of her weight, and he kissed her to ‘reassure her’.
Jurors heard a transcript of the police interview police with Gascoigne following the incident, in which he said he had not been drinking heavily as he had recently had an operation.
The footballer told officers that, after hearing somebody describe his alleged victim as fat: ‘I sat down next to her and just gave her a peck on the lips, and that was it.’
When asked whether his actions had been to reassure the woman about her build, Gascoigne said: ‘I felt sorry for her. I made sure – she was not fat and ugly.’
Gascoigne told officers he only had ‘three or four cans’ prior to the incident because spirits made him ‘spew up’ following a recent operation.
He said during the interview: ‘Before the operation I could drink gin no problem.’
Yesterday, the court heard he forcefully kissed a woman on a train for ‘three or four seconds’
Prosecuting, William Mousley QC said: ‘Instead of showing any real contrition, he lied by making up a story that he had overheard someone abusing her about her build and weight.
‘He had given her, he said, a peck on the lips to reassure her because he felt sorry for her. He appeared to indicate that what he had done was not serious and nothing to be bothered about.
He denied trying to sit on her and said that if his behaviour was sexual harassment then he had been a victim for 20 years or more, every time he had been kissed.
‘His lies were deliberate and told out of guilt but he was not prepared to face up to them.’
Speaking from behind a screen at Teesside Crown Court to maintain her anonymity, the victim said she ‘completely froze’ when Gascoigne kissed her on the mouth.
She added: ‘He was trying to sit on my lap almost. I didn’t want to make a fuss. I knew I was not too far from where I wanted to get off, I didn’t want to do anything to antagonise him.
‘He kept saying ‘sorry’ and I kept just looking out of the window. He said ‘sorry’ a second time and then tapped my arm again and I turned around. He grabbed my face, kissed me full on the lips.
‘I was taken aback, it came completely out of the blue. I pushed him off, I pushed him away and said, ‘that is not OK, get off ‘. It was on the mouth, I kept my mouth firmly shut, I just completely froze. It was sloppy, not a peck on the cheek that you might give someone, it was very full on the lips and it was forceful. He just kind of mumbled.’
The incident happened on a York to Newcastle train at Darlington (pictured in file photo)
Passenger Rebecca Jacques sat across the aisle from Gascoigne.
She told the court she first became aware of him when he offered her a salmon bagel, which she could not eat because she was a vegetarian. She said: ‘He put his hand on the lady’s head and he put his tongue in her mouth. I was sitting side-on so I could see exactly what he had done.
‘It was clear he had got carried away with whatever he thought was going on.’ Miss Jacques said Gascoigne told her what he did was ‘fine’. ‘I said to him, ‘you cannot say that is fine, it is not fine what has happened’.
‘He said to me that it would not have been me because I was buck-toothed and ugly. I said to him, ‘you can insult me all you like – it was sexual assault and you should not have done that.’
He was angry – he did not like that I was telling him off.’ Miss Jacques said she had not recognised Gascoigne, and asked a male passenger why he had not done anything. He told her: ‘It’s Paul Gascoigne.’
Gascoigne denies one count of sexual assault. The trial continues.