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Jury told to put views on Gascoigne to one side during sex assault trial

The former footballer denies a single count of sexual assault.

Paul Gascoigne arrives at Teesside Crown Court in Middlesbrough (Danny Lawson/PA)
Paul Gascoigne arrives at Teesside Crown Court in Middlesbrough (Danny Lawson/PA)

By Tom Wilkinson and Henry Clare, PA

Jury members trying ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne for sexual assault have been told to put any views they have of him to one side.

Potential panel members were also asked to indicate if they were ever employed by any of his previous clubs.

The 52-year-old denies a single count of sexual assault, alleged to have happened while he was on a train between York and Newcastle in August last year.

A woman, who cannot be identified, told police she was kissed without consent.

Gascoigne is on trial at Teesside Crown Court where William Mousley QC, prosecuting, asked potential jury members whether they knew Gascoigne from his previous clubs, listing them as Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough, Rangers and Everton.

Judge Peter Armstrong told the panel: “It is important you do not have any knowledge of the witnesses in the case, or connection with them, however in this case the defendant is Mr Paul John Gascoigne, who may be well-known to you, and therefore it would be unrealistic to expect you not to have heard of him.”

A jury of eight men and four women was sworn in, and the judge told them: “With the celebrity of the defendant, it may be you have a pre-formed view of him.

“You put that to one side.”

PA

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