John Leslie jury sent home as ‘precautionary measure’ amid Covid-19 restrictions


The jury in the sexual assault trial of Blue Peter star John Leslie was sent home today as a “precautionary measure” amid strict Covid-19 restrictions.They were about to hear TV presenter Gudrun Young’s attorney deliver his closing speech when Judge Deborah Taylor adjourned the case.

The judge said in a statement: “As a precaution, the trial cannot sit today and it is hoped that the trial can continue on Monday. ”

Leslie, 55, who also presented This Morning, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Christmas party at a bar in London’s West End in 2008.

He denies a charge of sexual assault by intentionally touching a woman without her consent.

The alleged victim claimed to have sexually assaulted her moments after she shook his hand, introduced herself and said, “Nice to meet you. ”

She claimed he left laughing without saying a word.

John Leslie, pictured, arriving at Southwark Crown

The woman did not report the incident for nine years.

Leslie said he did not recall meeting the woman who was a “stranger” to him and that he did not remember if he had been at the party.

He said he had never sexually assaulted anyone.

TV stars Anthea Turner, Yvette Fielding, Diane-Louise Jordan and Fern Britton testified on her behalf Thursday.

John Leslie, illustrated center

They all said they had never seen Leslie, who they had worked with, behave inappropriately towards a woman.

Jocelyn Ledward, prosecuting, warned the jury not to be swayed by fame.

She said, “You will undoubtedly recognize the names and the faces that have come to speak on her behalf.

“Of course, you don’t want to be swayed by their status as celebrities, familiar characters, people who appear on your TVs and who might make you feel like you have a personal connection to them.

“This is John Leslie himself.

John Leslie, pictured, starred in Blue Peter

“You’ve heard of his television career, you’ve heard of his vast experience as someone who has been in the public eye on unscripted live TV.

“Some witnesses can attest to the stressful situation this represents.

“They are all without a doubt, including Mr. Leslie, experienced and confident communicators who can project to an audience and know exactly how to judge that audience.

“What I urge you to do is go beyond that and examine the evidence in a forensic fashion and not take the package, the skilled communicator, confident presenter John Leslie at face value.

Leslie, photo, à Southwark Crown Court

“I’m actually suggesting to you that the only proper conclusion is that the evidence you heard from the victim must be true.

“An overexcited, uninhibited John Leslie doesn’t go out much, did exactly what she said.

“He grabbed the woman’s breasts quite on purpose because he could and because he felt fairly correctly that no one was going to do anything about it at the time.

“Far from being out right away, he knew his audience and he knew he could get away with it. ”

Leslie denies the sexual assault.

Strict social distancing measures were deployed at Southwark Crown Court for the trial.

Jurors were given twice the space they would normally have, seats were spaced out in the public gallery and press bench, and participants were allowed to wear face masks inside the room. ‘hearing.

A one-way entry and exit system has been installed in the building.

The trial continues.


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