Paul Gascoigne kissed woman 'forcibly and sloppily' on the lips, sex assault trial hears

A woman who alleges Paul Gascoigne sexually assaulted her on a train by planting a sloppy, drunken kiss on her lips has tearfully told a jury how it was "completely out of the blue".

Monday, 14th October 2019, 6:58 pm
Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne arrives at Teesside Crown Court in Middlesbrough. Picture by: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

When other passengers challenged him about his behaviour, the 52-year-old former England footballer said he was trying to boost her confidence, jurors at Teesside Crown Court were told.

The ex-Newcastle United, Spurs, Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton midfielder denies a single count of sexual assault, said to have happened on a York to Newcastle train in August 2018.

Giving evidence behind a screen, the woman, who cannot be identified, said she noticed the man, whom she did not recognise, was being noisy and had food around his mouth. She spotted cans on the train floor.

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Asked to describe his demeanour, the woman said: "He certainly seemed drunk, intoxicated."

She told the jury she put her headphones on and attempted to ignore the noise coming from Gascoigne behind her.

She told jurors: "He kept saying sorry. I said 'It's fine'. I was just looking out of the window.

"He said sorry a second time, and then tapped my arm.

"I turned around to face him and he grabbed my face and kissed me full on the lips, and I was taken aback because it was just completely out of the blue."

William Mousley QC, prosecuting, said: "This case concerns a brief but unpleasant assault with sexual overtones on a train by a drunken male stranger in his 50s."

The prosecution said: "He put his hands on her cheeks and kissed her forcibly and sloppily on the lips."

She called police after getting off the train and at the time had no idea about his identity, the court heard.

It was only a week later that she saw on Sky News who he was, jurors were told.

On the night of the incident, police traced Gascoigne to a hotel in Jesmond, Newcastle, and he told officers on the phone he knew what it was about – "He had, in his words, 'kissed a fat lass'," Mr Mousley said.

When he was questioned the next morning, when he was "more sober", Mr Mousley said, he did not show "contrition" and told lies instead, claiming the woman had been abused about her build, "and he had given her a peck on the lips to reassure her as he felt sorry for her".

The trial will resume today.