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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

Paul Gascoigne to stand trial over 'sexual assault by touching' charge

The former England player formally entered a not guilty plea this morning.

Gascoigne (centre) leaves Teesside Crown Court in Middlesbrough today
Gascoigne (centre) leaves Teesside Crown Court in Middlesbrough today
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

FORMER ENGLAND FOOTBALLER Paul Gascoigne will stand trial for sexual assault in October after allegedly kissing a woman without consent on a train.

The 51-year-old ex-Tottenham and Lazio player was arrested on a train between York and Newcastle in August.

He appeared at Teesside Crown Court in Middlesbrough in northeast England this morning to formally enter a not guilty plea, the Press Association news agency reported.

His lawyer Michelle Heeley told the court that a number of character witnesses will give evidence “about his propensity to kiss people in a non-sexual manner”.

Gascoigne, who has struggled with alcoholism since he retired from top-flight football, wore a blue suit and an open-neck shirt and spoke out during the hearing.

“I’m worried to bits. I’m scared,” Gascoigne told judge Simon Bourne-Arton, who granted him unconditional bail.

When told he would have to turn up for the trial, Gascoigne said:

I cannot wait. I have done nothing wrong.

The trial on one charge of “sexual assault by touching” is set to be held on 14 October.

Gascoigne - known as Gazza – made his name with Newcastle before going on to play for Tottenham, Italian giants Lazio and several other teams including Rangers.

The midfielder, widely regarded as one of the most talented players of his generation, was also a key member of the England side that reached the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy. He won 57 caps in total.

© AFP 2019  

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