John Leslie trial over ‘sexual assault’ at party begins

Leslie denies sexual assault by intentionally touching a woman without her consent.

John Leslie trial over ‘sexual assault’ at party begins Getty Images

The trial against former Blue Peter presenter John Leslie for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman at a party in London more than a decade ago has begun.

Leslie, of Edinburgh, denies sexual assault by intentionally touching a woman without her consent on December 5 2008.

Leslie, whose full name is John Leslie Stott, stood quietly in the dock at London’s Southwark Crown Court, as the jury was sworn in. 

His father Les Stott sat listening in the court where everyone involved in the hearing was socially-distanced.

Leslie presented Blue Peter between 1989 and 1994, and has also hosted Wheel Of Fortune and This Morning.

The 55-year-old is accused of grabbing a woman’s breasts and laughing before walking away.

The alleged incident happened at a Christmas party in London’s West End.

Prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward told the jury that Leslie is accused of “grabbing” a young woman’s breasts shortly after he arrived.

She said he did this “quite deliberately for a period of a few seconds” before walking off.

The prosecutor said: “The woman was stunned but did not report it to the police.”

Ms Ledward said: “He (Leslie) denies he did any such thing and if there was any physical contact between them, then it must have been an accident.”

The alleged victim did not go to the police at that time, the court heard.

Jocelyn Ledward said: “She did not think her complaint would be taken seriously.”

She confided in a friend about what she says happened to her. The friend was “shocked” by the claim, the court heard.

It was in late 2017 after the MeToo campaign became prominent, that the woman decided to make a complaint.

Ms Ledward said: “She began to feel more angry about what had happened.”

John Leslie voluntarily attended a police interview in March 2018 at the end of which he said “I have not attacked or assaulted anyone ever,” the jury was told.