Tuesday 25 September 2018

John Leslie set to make a complaint against police after being acquitted of sexual assault

Former TV presenter John Leslie (Jane Barlow/PA)
Former TV presenter John Leslie (Jane Barlow/PA)

Katrine Bussey

Former TV presenter John Leslie is set to make a complaint against Police Scotland and could even sue the force, after being acquitted of sexual assault.

The ex-Blue Peter and This Morning star claimed the experience had been the worst of his life, accusing officers of showing "no interest" in obtaining CCTV footage from inside the Edinburgh nightclub where he was alleged to have put his hand down the back of a woman's trousers on her hen night.

The bride-to-be had told the court Leslie had touched her bottom as they danced together in the Atik nightclub in Edinburgh in June 2017.

But after a two-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court the charge was found to be not proven and Leslie was told he was free to leave.

As a result of the case he said he had "lost a year of my life", adding: "I lost dignity, respect, and I'm unemployable again, even though I was acquitted."

Leslie told The Mail On Sunday: "I feel as if my heart has been ripped out by this latest case and it has been the worst experience of my life, by a country mile.

"I will be making a formal complaint to the police, but I also wouldn't rule out a civil action."

He continued: "I blame the police. At the very least I'd like an apology.

"I was detained and charged in the early hours of the morning over an incident in a public space in a nightclub that was covered by CCTV, yet the police showed no interest in obtaining the footage.

"Those films, taken from two different angles, show the young woman dancing quite happily with me. At no point does anything inappropriate happen.

"Yet instead of dropping the matter or sending the videos to the fiscal's office, the police simply sent a highly selective summary.

"The woman was about to get married and was having a good time.

"I was trying to be a nice guy by dancing with her.

"I'm 100% convinced the allegation would not have been made if it wasn't me."

Leslie alleged that the police "were pretty selective in their evidence-gathering" and claimed that "it wasn't so much a rush to charge me, but a stampede".

However he said his defence team secured CCTV footage from the club which "showed my hand for the whole three minutes and 10 seconds of the dance near as damn it in the same position, with twirls, separation, and her hands round my neck pulling me towards her".

The former TV star added: "It was obvious gold dust for us and really important."

Police Scotland told The Mail On Sunday that "all complaints will be assessed and investigated as appropriate".

Press Association

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