A former host of This Morning and Wheel of Fortune has been accused of groping a woman at a celebrity party in London`s West End.
John Leslie, the former Blue Peter presenter has been put on trial at Southwark crown court for the alleged sexual assault. As the victim was introducing herself, the 55-year-old allegedly touched her breasts inappropriately and walked away “as if what he had done was completely acceptable”.
He denied the charges against him and claimed that any contact with the woman was accidental as he had no intention of sexually assaulting the woman who was then in her 30s, while he was 43.
The incident took place at a Christmas party at West End bar in December 2008 but the victim had only reported in 2017 after being encouraged by the #MeToo movement.
Prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward said: “She shook his hand as she explained who she was, he smiled back and without saying anything further grabbed both of her breasts with both of his hands and laughed, looking directly at her as he did so. This was clearly not an accident but a quite deliberate sexual assault.”
After the incident, Leslie “laughed again and then walked off as if what he had done was completely acceptable and no one was going to challenge him,” the victim said.
The victim said that she felt “more angry about what happened” with the passage of time and she narrated the incident to people at that time but did not report to the police because she “did not think it would be taken seriously”.
Among the witnesses in the criminal trial, there may be Leslie`s fellow Blue Peter presenters Yvette Fielding, Diane-Louise Jordan, and Anthea Turner, as well as This Morning co-host Fern Britton.