Former Devon County Council leader on trial over sexual assault allegations

Brian Greenslade
Brian Greenslade.

A former council leader and a prominent politician in Devon has gone on trial accused of groping and sexually assaulting three women.

Brian Greenslade, 72 of Marwood, was on Devon County Council business when he allegedly indecently assaulted two women. He is also charged with having fondled a third.

Mr Greenslade, who is also a former chair of the police authority, put his hand down his first victim's trousers and tried to kiss her during a site visit for a planning application in the mid 1990s, the court heard.

The second woman who contacted police said he groped her breast during a lunch reception at County Hall in Exeter in the mid 2000s.

The third allegation relates to an incident when Greenslade was working as an accountant in the 1990's.

He denied any wrongdoing at Exeter Crown Court.

The 72-year-old councillor's three charges include:

  • Indecently assaulting a woman in Exeter between January 1994 and December 1995.

  • During the same period, he is accused of a further charge of indecent assault on a woman in Barnstaple.

  • He is further charged with sexual assault on a woman in Exeter between June 2005 and January 2006.

The court heard that three women did not know each other and that the offences had happened at different times.

Prosecutor Joanna Martin QC said that all three alleged incidents took place whilst Greenslade was in a position of power.

"His position of authority over each woman allowed him to not only carry out sexual assaults but also the power he enjoyed would have made him more confident they would not complain because women just didn't back then," she said.

The court heard how the three women came forward with their allegations in 2018. He was then arrested.

He told officers: 'Is the Chief Constable aware of this? You'll be aware I was chair of the police authority for many years'. When questioned, he denied all the allegations.

The trial is due to last a week.

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