Belfast Telegraph

Gazza on way home from Frampton Windsor fight when alleged sexual assault occurred, court hears

Former footballer Paul Gascoigne sat at ringside during the event.
Former footballer Paul Gascoigne sat at ringside during the event.

Former England international Paul Gascoigne was travelling home from a Carl Frampton fight in Belfast when an alleged sexual assault took place, a court had heard.

Mr Gascoigne is accused of "forcefully" kissing a woman on a train between York and Newcastle on August 20 last year.

He denies the offence saying he was only trying to comfort the woman after she was heckled.

The court was told on Tuesday that the incident occurred when he was travelling home from a boxing match in Belfast with his teenage nephews.

The former Rangers star was in attendance at Windsor Park on August 18 when Frampton defeated Luke Jackson in front of 25,000 people.

He was pictured jokingly sparring with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder at the event, which also featured Tyson Fury.

On Tuesday jurors were handed a file of photos of him kissing and being kissed by famous footballers, fans and even by Diana, Princess of Wales.

Mr Gascoigne momentarily wept in the witness box at Teesside Crown Court as he denied any sexual intent during the alleged incident.

The 52-year-old told the court he was asked for a selfie which the complainant took of him with two other women, and claimed someone shouted: "You don't want a photo with her, she's fat and ugly".

Deontay Wilder met Paul Gascoigne before the fight (Niall Carson/PA)
Deontay Wilder met Paul Gascoigne before the fight (Niall Carson/PA)

Asked by his defence barrister Michelle Heeley QC how that made him feel, he said: "I was called a fat b****** every time I played."

He told the jury he had suffered from bulimia and would train wearing a black bin liner to help him lose weight.

Giving evidence about what was going through his mind at the time of the kiss, he also mentioned losing his nephew Jay two years before.

Gascoigne said that he sat next the woman, telling her "take no notice of what they say" and "listen, you're not fat and ugly, you are beautiful inside".

At that point, an usher in the court handed him a paper tissue.

Gascoigne said he gave the woman "just a little peck", that no tongue was involved and insisted that it was not sexual.

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne arrives at Teesside Crown Court (Danny Lawson/PA)
Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne arrives at Teesside Crown Court (Danny Lawson/PA)

He claimed he was kissed "constantly" over the years and jurors were shown a four-page montage of images of Gascoigne kissing and being kissed by other people.

Miss Heeley said the pictures featured former footballers Steve Bull, Ian Wright, Ally McCoist and Wayne Rooney, as well as Diana, and fans.

Gascoigne said that, following his arrest, an officer had asked him about taking a selfie together at some stage.

Gascoigne told the court he was travelling back to Newcastle from Birmingham with his teenage nephews, having been to Belfast to watch a boxing match.

He agreed they were noisy on the train, but said it may have sounded like he was slurring his speech as he was not wearing a dental implant, demonstrating to jurors how his voice changed when he took it out.

He said he had undergone a new operation in Australia which involved him having pellets implanted in his stomach to prevent him drinking heavily, meaning he could no longer drink spirits.

He said he poured some Stella Artois into a milk carton which he had with him.

Earlier, the jury heard he told police the stomach operation meant he would "spew up" if he drank gin, and that he had drunk three or four cans of beer.

When asked why Gascoigne had not challenged the person who supposedly called his alleged victim "fat and ugly", he said: "I do not think it was for me to challenge anybody. I'm not that way inclined."

William Mousley QC, prosecuting, asked the defendant whether he had embellished or invented elements of his account to portray his innocence, saying: "You are just making it up as you go along, Mr Gascoigne, aren't you?

"You did not say anything like that when you were interviewed by the police, did you?"

Gascoigne denied that he had lied.

He denied trying to embarrass or humiliate the woman, whom he estimated to be around 20 years younger than him, replying: "She had already been humiliated."

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