John Leslie to face trial
4 February 2018 - 8:00 AM

John Leslie to face trial

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John Leslie will face trial over an accusation of sexual assault.

The former "Blue Peter" presenter has been accused of putting his hand down a 26-year-old woman's skirt and touching her inappropriately while they were dancing in an Edinburgh nightclub in June, and though he denied the allegations when they were made public in November, Scottish authorities have decided to prosecute.

A source told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: "He'll be devastated as he was insistent evidence would prove his innocence. He had planned to relaunch his television career, but this will crush those plans."

The ex-"This Morning" host and the unnamed woman - who was reportedly on a hen party - were at a VIP night to celebrate the relaunch of Atik club, where Leslie is said to be a regular and has performed as a DJ, which had reopened after a refurbishment.

The property developer has previously denied the allegation, and his legal team are said to believe CCTV footage from the club will prove his innocence.

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Speaking in November, Leslie said: "I totally deny the allegation. I have not done anything wrong."

The trial is scheduled to take place this spring at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, and the verdict will be decided by a sheriff alone, without a jury.

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The 52-year-old star had been due to make his TV comeback on "Celebrity Big Brother" last year but turned down a £500,000 offer, reportedly because of the allegations against him.

A source previously said: "He was hoping the time would be right to return to TV but when the offer to appear on "Celebrity Big Brother" was made he was already under investigation over the new claims.

"The offer was a lucrative one and also an opportunity for him to clear his name and to reconnect with the public. But it would have been unwise while this was hanging over him."

Leslie took himself away from the limelight in 2002 when he was linked to an allegation made by Swedish TV star Ulrika Jonsson in her autobiography, in which she claimed she had been raped by an "an acquaintance", but he was never charged and Ulrika has never disclosed the person's identity.

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