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Woman tells court John Leslie ‘assaulted me in nightclub’

3:03 pm, 18th June 2018

The 27-year-old, who can’t be named, said she was on her hen night two weeks before her wedding when he put his hand down her trousers while they danced.

The woman told the trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court: “It has been one of the toughest years of my life in what should have been the happiest. It’s had an impact on my relationship with my husband, family, friends, my work. I’ve been signed off work and prescribed medication.”

John Leslie, who is appearing under his real name John Stott, denies the charge against him.

The court heard that the alleged incident took place in June 2017 at Edinburgh’s Atik nightclub.

The woman had gone with a group of friends and encountered Leslie, 53, inside. She said she knew him from the TV series Blue Peter, and introduced herself and told him she was soon to be married.

Questioned by Fiona Nairn, for the prosecution, the woman said that she and her friends had been dancing with members of a stag party when Leslie approached her and said: “‘Be careful, you’re getting married in two weeks’. I suggested ‘well you dance with me then’, and at that point we started dancing together.”

She said that, while they were dancing, he pulled her closer. She said: “I felt uncomfortable, but I thought I was reading too much into it. I had managed to see my friend behind me and tried to give her a look so she knew I was uneasy.

“After that, I felt his hand go down my trousers at the back. I didn’t say anything, I didn’t know how to react. I shot a look at my friend because I needed to be out of that situation.”

She agreed that she had remained dancing on the nightclub dance floor following the alleged incident.

She said: “I was just trying to dance on the dance floor and pretend it hadn’t happened. I wasn’t there for very long before I broke down.”

The woman said that, initially, she didn’t want to involve the police and that she “just wanted to go home, feel safe and away from the situation”.

She decided to make a complaint to police after her future sister-in-law had asked: “If this had happened to one of my nieces, what would I do?”

Questioned by Derek Ogg QC, for Leslie, the woman accepted that he had been courteous, friendly and polite during their dance together.

The court was shown CCTV of them dancing. She said she accepted the alleged assault couldn’t be seen on the video that showed them dancing, but insisted it did happen.

The trial before Sheriff Adrian Cottam continues.