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Paul Gascoigne pleads not guilty to sexual assault

The Rangers legend has been granted bail and will now face a trial later in the year.

Gascoigne: Denies sexual assault.
Gascoigne: Denies sexual assault.

Rangers legend Paul Gascoigne has pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault at Teeside Crown Court.

The former England midfielder known as Gazza, who played for the Ibrox side for three years between 1995 and 98, denies sexually assaulting a woman by kissing her on a train between York and Newcastle.

He was arrested over the incident on August 20 last year and the British Transport Police confirmed that he had been charged with one count of sexual assault by touching.

The 51-year-old, who also played for Tottenham Hotspur and Italian side Lazio, will now face a trial in October.

His barrister Michelle Heeley QC told the court that a number of character witnesses will give evidence about the former football star's "propensity to kiss people in a non-sexual manner".

During the ten-minute hearing, Gascoigne, wearing a blue suit and an open neck shirt, was asked to be quiet by Judge Simon Bourne-Arton.

Gascoigne stated his full name, date of birth and when he was asked his nationality, replied: "English, Protestant."

After hearing his trial could not be accommodated before October 14, Gascogine called out: "Sir, Your Honour." The judge replied: "Be quiet."

Gascoigne said "I'm worried to bits. I'm scared", before apologising to the judge.

His solicitor, who was in court while his barrister was appearing via a videolink, then went to speak to Gascoigne in the dock.

The judge said: "You have a solicitor and you have a QC, they will look after your interests."

The judge then told Gascoigne to be quiet again, to which the player said: "I'm tired."

During another conversation with his solicitor while the hearing took place, Gascoigne said that the police officer who arrested him talked about football, and asked for an autograph and selfies.

Judge Bourne-Arton warned him: "Everyone can hear what you are saying. It is in your interest to speak quietly."

After the judge warned him that he must turn up for the trial, Gascogine replied: "I will do, your lord.. I cannot wait.

"I have done nothing wrong."

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