Paul Gascoigne Has Been Found Not Guilty Of Sexual Assault
Paul Gascoigne has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman on a train by forcefully kissing her on the lips.
The former England midfielder, 52, denied the offence and has now been cleared following a trial at Teesside Crown Court. The jury has been told that they can consider an alternative count of assault by beating.
According to Sky Sports, the jurors took two hours and 45 minutes to reach their verdict which was delivered to the court as Gascoigne wept and put his head in his hands.
He was charged over the incident, which took place on a CrossCountry train from York to Newcastle in August last year, but said that he kissed the woman - who will not be named for legal reasons - because he wanted to comfort her and boost her confidence.
He told the court earlier in the trial that he was attempting to reassure the woman after he claimed to overhear someone saying: "You don't want a photo with her, she's fat and ugly."
Speaking of this, he explained that he was called a 'fat b*****' when he was a footballer and that his nephews and children have also been called fat.
Sky News reported that he said: "Automatically I went and sat next to her and said, 'Look, you're not fat and ugly, you're beautiful inside.'"
Gascoigne said that he didn't regard the kiss as sexual harassment and explained that the woman 'didn't seem that bothered'.
Giving evidence in court, the woman claimed that later in the journey he had tried to sit on her lap.
She said: "I tried to keep my mouth firmly shut, I just completely froze. It was just sloppy and it wasn't like a peck on the cheek like you might give someone, it was very full on the lips."
During his police interview, Gascoigne said: "I get kissed all the time, so if that's the case I have been sexually harassed for 20 years."
He also told the custody sergeant: "All I was doing was trying to help a fat lass."
At the time of his arrest, Gascoigne was believed to be drunk but he claimed that if he was slurring his words it was because he wasn't wearing his false teeth.
He even removed them when he was giving evidence to show how different he sounded without them.
According to Sky News, when told he had kissed the woman 'in circumstances that any reasonable person would describe as sexual', Gascoigne said: "There was no sexual intent."
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