National News

Supplied by

Former TV presenter John Leslie walks free after sexual assault charge not proven

6:57 pm, 22nd June 2018

The 53-year-old walked free from the court after the verdict – which means there was insufficient evidence to establish guilt or innocence.

He was accused of putting his hand down a woman’s trousers and touching her bottom as they danced at an Edinburgh nightclub last June at what was the alleged victim’s hen night.

Leslie, appearing under his real name, John Stott, had denied the charge, which was found not proven by Sheriff Adrian Cottam on Friday after a two-day trial.

The Sheriff said it had been 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.

Outside the court Leslie said: “CCTV and DNA prove no assault took place. It is time to move on from this hell.”

His father Les Stott who was with Leslie, reacted with fury when reporters suggested the “not proven” verdict could mean there were doubts about his innocence.

He shouted: “It doesn’t show any doubt. He’s innocent. He is innocent.”

While giving evidence during the case, Leslie 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.”

He told the court she asked him to dance and he did so in a “proper and very respectful manner”.

He said once the dance ended she continued to dance with her friends “as if nothing had happened”.

Leslie said when police told him of the allegation he replied “that’s just not happened” and told them to check the CCTV.

He said he asked the owner of the club, Atik, 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.”

His alleged victim, who cannot be named, earlier gave evidence and said Leslie put his hand down the back of her trousers and touched her bottom.

She cried as she said she had nothing to gain by making the allegation up and it had affected her relationships with her friends and husband.

Her friend also gave evidence and said she felt where Leslie had his hands was “inappropriate” and the bride-to-be looked “scared”.

The DJ that night gave evidence saying Leslie had been a “perfect gentleman” while dancing with the bride-to-be.

DNA experts said Leslie’s DNA was found on the back waistband of the trousers but could have been transferred by indirect contact.

More follows…