John Leslie has denied sexually assaulting a woman as he appeared in court today charged with a historic assault in 2008.
The 54-year-old was pictured arriving at Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday morning, two weeks on from being charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a woman nearly 11 years ago.
Leslie formerly denied the charge of sexual assault during today’s hearing and elected a trial at crown court.
Jocelyn Ledward, prosecuting, said: ‘It is a simple allegation of a brief sexual touching over clothing.’
Defence lawyer Grant Ambridge said: ‘It is disputed that the offence took place she either mistaken, lying or other issues which we will develop in the crown court as to why or why not she may have said these things at the time.’
The former This Morning host was dressed in a white shirt, a striped tie and trousers, and hung his jacket over his arm in the London heat.
Leslie wore sunglasses and had earphones in as he approached the courthouse.
‘I am totally innocent of the historic allegation and will be contesting the trial,’ Leslie said in a statement, via his representative, at the time of his charge.
A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police told Metro.co.uk: ‘John Leslie Stott, 54 (22.02.65), of Edinburgh, Midlothian, was charged by postal requisition on Wednesday, 5 June with sexual touching of a woman aged 16 or over, contrary to Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
‘He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 25 July at 09:30hrs.
‘The allegation relates to an incident in Westminster in December 2008. The victim was aged 30 at the time.
‘Detectives from the Met’s Central West Command Unit investigate.’
The presenter rose to fame in the late 80s with his role on Blue Peter, which he stayed on until 1994.
John joined the This Morning team in 1989, presenting on Fridays with Fern Britton, before becoming full-time presenters in 2001 to replace Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.
He left the show in 2002 and went on to present the first series of Survivor, while he also presented Wheel of Fortune from 1998 until 2001.
In 2012, Leslie revived his career as a radio DJ, working with 98.8 Castle FM before joining the Scottish Bauer Radio network in 2014.
As well as his TV career, Leslie became known for his high profile relationships with Catherine Zeta Jones, who he dated from 1991 until 1993, and Abi Titmuss, who he was in a relationship with from 1999 until 2004.