Image copyright PA Media Image caption Paul Gascoigne arriving at Teesside Crown Court for the start of the trial Former footballer Paul Gascoigne “forcefully and sloppily” kissed a woman on the lips while drunk on a train, a court has heard.The 52-year-old is accused of an “unpleasant” sex assault on the service from York to…
Former footballer Paul Gascoigne “forcefully and sloppily” kissed a woman on the lips while drunk on a train, a court has heard.
The 52-year-old is accused of an “unpleasant” sex assault on the service from York to Durham in August 2018.
The ex-England star, who denies sexual assault by touching, told passengers he had “kissed a fat lass” to give her a “confidence boost”, jurors were told.
The complainant was left “shocked and upset”, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Opening the case for the prosecution at Teesside Crown Court, William Mousley QC said: “This case concerns a brief but unpleasant assault with sexual overtones on a train.”
The jury heard Mr Gascoigne put his hands on the woman’s cheeks and kissed her. After his arrest, he told police it was “a peck on the lips” and indicated he did not consider it a serious matter.
Confronted by passengers
Mr Mousley said the woman, who had been travelling home, noticed a “shouty and sweary” passenger behind her.
The prosecutor said that after drawing attention to himself, the man, whom the woman later learned was Mr Gascoigne, had tried to sit on her.
After the woman tried to move away from the former footballer, he put his hands on her cheeks and kissed her, the court heard.
When confronted by other passengers, the former Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Rangers and Middlesbrough star told them he had tried to give her a “confidence boost”, the court heard.
Mr Mousley added that, when questioned by police, the accused had tried to defend himself by saying other passengers had been teasing her about her build and that he had given her a “peck on the lips to reassure her”.
Describing the alleged offence as a “blatant act”, the prosecutor added that it was “humiliating” for the woman involved, adding: “Perhaps it was him showing off.”
The trial continues.