Former Blue Peter star John Leslie, 54, denies groping 30-year-old woman without her consent at Soho party more than a decade ago

  • John Leslie has appeared at Southwark Crown Court for sex assault hearing
  • He denied the alleged offence in 2008 at hearing at magistrates' court in July
  • Former Blue Peter presenter repeated his plea and was released on bail 
  • He is accused of groping a 30-year-old woman at a party in Soho

Broadcaster John Leslie has denied sexual assault at court this morning.

The former Blue Peter and This Morning presenter, 54, is accused of groping a 30-year-old woman at a party in Soho, central London, in December 2008.

He denied the offence at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court last month, electing to defend the charge at a crown court trial, and repeated his plea at Southwark Crown Court today. 

Judge Jeffrey Pegden released Leslie on unconditional bail and he will now return to the same court for a trial next March.  

John Leslie, pictured centre, arrived at Southwark Crown Court today to face charges of sexual assault against a woman at a party in Soho, London, in 2008. He was supported by his father Les Stott, left

Speaking at the previous hearing, his defence lawyer Grant Ambridge said: 'It is disputed that the offence took place. She is either mistaken, lying or other issues which we will develop in the crown court as to why or why not she may have said these things at the time.' 

The former presenter arrived at Southwark Crown Court, supported by his father Les Stott, wearing sunglasses, a dark grey suit, blue shirt and tie.  

Leslie, who lives in Edinburgh and whose full name is John Leslie Stott, joined Blue Peter in 1989 and remained with the show until 1994.

In 1998 Leslie took over from Bradley Walsh as the main presenter of game show Wheel Of Fortune, before joining This Morning a year later.

He was replaced on the morning show by Phillip Schofield in 2002.

Leslie, pictured, once again denied sexual assault at Southwark Crown Court today
Pictured leaving court, Leslie will face trial next March

Leslie, pictured left and right leaving Southwark Crown Court, was released on unconditional bail and will face trial next March

Between 2012 and 2016, Leslie had short stints as a radio DJ in Scotland with Castle FM and Bauer Radio.

Last month Leslie said he was 'totally innocent' of the allegation and added he would contest it at a trial.

Leslie has previously had high-profile relationships with Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones, whom he met in 1991 and was with for 18 months, and glamour model Abi Titmuss, with whom he was with 1999 to 2002, then on and off until 2004.

After leaving television he began working for Radio Forth in his native Scotland and has also been working as a property developer in Edinburgh. 

Leslie was one of the presenters on ITV's This Morning programme between 1999 and 2002

Leslie was one of the presenters on ITV's This Morning programme between 1999 and 2002

Leslie has previously had a relationship with Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones
Leslie also used to be with glamour model Abi Titmuss

Leslie has previously had high-profile relationships with Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones (left, in 1992), and glamour model Abi Titmuss (right, in 2004)

Former Blue Peter star John Leslie, 54, denies sexual assault

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