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Paul Gascoigne faces trial after denying racially-aggravated offence

Published 29/06/2016

Paul Gascoigne is accused of racially aggravated abuse
Paul Gascoigne is accused of racially aggravated abuse

Former England football star Paul Gascoigne is to stand trial later this year after pleading not guilty to a racially-aggravated public order offence.

The former Newcastle, Tottenham and Rangers midfielder is alleged to have used "threatening or abusive words" towards a security guard during An Evening With Gazza show in Wolverhampton in November last year.

The 49-year-old ex-footballer, who lives in Dorset, was granted unconditional bail at Dudley Magistrates' Court until a trial on September 19.

A single charge brought against Gascoigne alleges that he "used threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress" and that the offence was racially aggravated.

At least four witnesses are expected to give evidence at the star's trial, which will be held at the same court.

After signing autographs for two fans on his way into the court building, Gascoigne appeared in the dock wearing a dark suit and a pale blue open-necked shirt.

During a 21-minute appearance before District Judge Graham Wilkinson, Gascoigne spoke only to enter his plea, give his personal details and thank the court at the conclusion of the hearing.

As he left the courtroom, Gascoigne said to reporters: "Cheers guys. Write the truth, write the truth."

Cameramen surrounded Gascoigne as he walked out of the court building, and he paused to sign pictures of himself wearing an England kit before leaving in a taxi with his legal team.

The charge - under the Crime and Disorder Act - was brought against Gascoigne earlier this month after an inquiry by West Midlands Police.

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