Gascoigne claims he was 'trying to help a fat lass', court hears

Luke Bradshaw
Sports Writer
Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne (Credit: Getty Images)

On the second day of Paul Gascoigne’s trial at Teesside Crown Court, the court heard that the former England footballer told the police officer that arrested him: "I know what it's about, I kissed a fat lass."

Gascoigne, who is on trial for sexual assault, was arrested by a British Transport Police officer at the Jesmond Dene Hotel in Newcastle after he kissed a woman on a train earlier in the day. The officer who arrested him found him drinking in the hotel foyer, in a "intoxicated, drunken state".

In his interview with police, Gascoigne claimed that he had heard a man abusing the woman about her weight and felt sorry for her. Part of his reasoning was that his niece had been teased in school for being overweight.

He told police: "I thought it was out of order calling her a fat lass. I sat next to her and gave her a peck on the lips. Some other girl got up and started having a go at us."

After the arrest, Gascoigne told the custody sergeant: "All I was doing was trying to help a fat lass."

When asked if he regarded the kiss as sexual harassment, the 52-year-old replied: "I get kissed all the time, so if that's the case I have been sexually harassed for 20 years."

READ MORE: Gascoigne 'kissed train passenger to reassure her', court told

Gascoigne had got on the train at Birmingham with his two teenage nephews and had also been to watch a boxing match in Belfast. He said that they had been messing about, which is why he had a cake sticker on his forehead (put there by his nephew).

He went on to tell the police: “I am not a serious person, I enjoy life like it is, I have got myself into a lot of trouble over the years.”

"I had this operation where they put pellets in and if you drink or take any drugs you spew up."

He was questioned on why he had asked his alleged victim whether she was a palm reader when he first spoke to her.

The woman 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”.

Gascoigne arrives at Teesside Crown Court (Credit: Getty Images)

On the first day of the trial, the woman, giving evidence behind a screen anonymously, said she noticed the man, whom she did not recognise, was being noisy and had food around his mouth.

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, saying: “Midway through the journey he asked me if I was a palm reader.

“I said no and tried to keep looking forward.”

The woman described how, later on in the journey, he attempted to sit on her lap, at which point she moved aside.

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.”

Gascoigne denies one count of sexual assault and the trial at Teesside Crown Court continues.

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