John Leslie cleared of sexual assault with not proven verdict
Former TV presenter John Leslie has been cleared of sexual assault after the charge was found not proven in a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
The ex-Blue Peter host was accused of putting his hand down the back of her trousers and touching her bottom as they danced on her hen night in the Atik nightclub in Edinburgh last June.
Following a two-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Adrian Cottam found him not proven and told him he was free to leave.
The Sheriff said he found it 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.
Giving evidence, Leslie, on trial under his real name of John Stott, 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 said she asked him to dance and he did so in a “proper and very respectful manner” and once the dance ended she continued to dance with her friends “as if nothing had happened”.
He said when police told him of the allegation of sexual assault he replied “that’s just not happened” and told them to check the CCTV.
He said he asked the club owner 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.”
Earlier his alleged victim, who cannot be named, gave evidence and said Leslie put his hand down the back of her trousers and touched her bottom.
She cried and said she had nothing to gain by making the allegation up, saying it had affected relationships with her friends and husband and made what should have been one of the happiest years of her life one of the toughest.
The court also heard from her friend who said she felt where Leslie had his hands was “inappropriate” and the bride-to-be looked “scared”.
She said she felt the way Leslie was touching her friend was “inappropriate” and she looked “scared”.
She said: “They were dancing and I could see he had his hand on her lower back which I felt was inappropriate, I would have felt uncomfortable if it was me.
“The next time I looked up I couldn’t see his hand any more. I could only see the top of his wrist. It was at the top of her tutu.
“At this point she looked scared.”
The DJ that night gave evidence saying Leslie had been a “perfect gentleman” while dancing with the bride-to-be.
Club DJ Nicholas Mowat, 50, who has been friends with Leslie since high school, said he saw Leslie dancing ballroom-style with the bride-to-be, adding: “John was just pirouetting... John had his hands on the back of the bride and he was a perfect gentleman,
dancing around the dance floor as normal.
“I didn’t see any signs of her being distressed with him or being anxious to get away from him in any way.”
He said he had a good view of the dance floor from his elevated DJ booth and when the song ended Leslie kissed her on the cheek and walked off.