Ex-Blue Peter presenter John Leslie arrives for first day for sex assault trial

Ex-Blue Peter star John Leslie, 55, ‘groped woman’s breasts with both hands at Soho celebrity Christmas bash in 2008’, sex assault trial hears

  • John Leslie, 55, seen arriving at Southwark Crown Court in London this morning
  • He is on trial over allegations he intentionally touched a woman without consent
  • Alleged incident said to have taken place at party in London in December 2008
  • Leslie, whose real name John Leslie Stott, denies the allegation and is on trial 

Ex-Blue Peter presenter John Leslie ‘groped a woman’s breasts with both hands’ at a celebrity Christmas party, a court heard today.

The alleged sexual assault is said to have taken place when the former television and radio star was at a party at a nightclub in London’s West End in 2008, jurors were told. 

Leslie, 55, whose real name is John Leslie Stott, denies an allegation of sexual assault by non-consensual touching and is on trial at London’s Southwark Crown Court.

On the opening day of the trial today, jurors heard the alleged victim had approached Leslie at a celebrity Christmas party in Greek Street, Soho, on December 5, 2008.

She alleged that ‘without saying anything’ Leslie ‘grabbed both of her breasts’.

The woman, who came forward in 2017 in response to the #MeToo movement, alleged Leslie then ‘laughed again and walked off’, the court heard.

Former Blue Peter presenter John Leslie (pictured left in a hat) has today arrived for the first day of his sex assault trial over claims he groped a woman at a party 12 years ago

Jocelyn Ledward, prosecuting, said: ‘This case concerns an allegation of sexual assault.

‘Back in 2008, the defendant attended a party in a nightclub in London.

‘Shortly afterwards he grabbed the breasts of a young woman, quite deliberately for a period of a few seconds before walking off.

‘The young woman was stunned, shocked and spoke to people about the incident at the time.’

She added: ‘The Christmas party was taking place in Greek Street, Soho. [The woman] was present.

‘A male she recognised as John Leslie, made his way to the bar. She introduced herself. She shook his hand and explained who she was.

‘Without saying anything, he grabbed both of her breasts with both of his hands, laughed again and walked off as he did so.

‘This went on by her estimation for about three seconds. This is clearly no accidental touching, but a deliberate sexual assault.

She added: ‘He knew that no one was going to challenge him.’

The prosecutor said the alleged victim spoke to people she knew at the time.

But she said the woman only came forward and spoke to police after reading about other experiences in the #MeToo movement – which became widely circulated in 2017 in light of allegations made against American film producer Harvey Weinstein.  

The ex-television and radio presenter, 55, was seen arriving at London's Southwark Crown Court this morning wearing a green tartan face mask emblazoned with 'Scotland' and a thistle on one side

The ex-television and radio presenter, 55, was seen arriving at London’s Southwark Crown Court this morning wearing a green tartan face mask emblazoned with ‘Scotland’ and a thistle on one side

Ms Ledward said: ‘In recent years, other victims of sexual assault by high profile names have come forward as part of the MeToo movement.

‘She began to feel more angry about what she had experienced and decided to speak to the police.

‘In March 2018, he voluntary attended a police interview. He chose not to have a solcitor and answered no comment to every question.

‘He only said, “I’ve not assaulted anyone ever”.’

Leslie, of Edinburgh, wore a checked grey three-piece suit, a blue shirt with a navy tie and carried a large bottle of sparkling water.

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

The trial continues. 

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

He was also the studio host for the first series of the UK version of Survivor, which aired on ITV in 2001.

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