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  1. ITV Report

Jury clears Paul Gascoigne of sexual assault

Cleared of sexual assault Credit: PA images

Former Newcastle United footballer Paul Gascoigne has been cleared by a jury at Teesside Crown Court of sexual assault after he kissed a woman on a train, but the jury is still considering an alternative charge of assault by beating.

The 52-year-old ex-England midfielder denied the offence, saying it was not sexual, and that he kissed the stranger to boost her confidence after he heard someone call her fat.

The jury has been told they can consider a lesser, alternative count of assault by beating if they clear him of sexual assault.

The court has heard the complainant was on a York to Newcastle train in August 2018 when Gascoigne, who was loud and swearing, drunkenly sat down next to her, tapped her on the arm, grabbed her by the cheeks and planted a sloppy kiss on her lips.

Gascoigne wept in the dock as he was cleared of sexual assault.

Judge Peter Armstrong told the jury he will now accept a majority verdict on the lesser, alternative count that they are still considering.

As he left court, Gascoigne wiped his eye with a tissue and hugged his agent.

When Judge Armstrong summed up the case, he told jurors that "assault by beating" is committed if the defendant "intentionally applies unlawful force to another who does not consent to it".