Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne will defend himself against a sex assault charge by saying he has a propensity to kiss people “in a non-sexual manner”, a court heard.
The 51-year-old was arrested while travelling on a train between York and Newcastle for allegedly kissing a woman without consent in Darlington in August.
He appeared at Teesside Crown Court to enter a not guilty plea to the single charge of sexual assault.
He will apply for legal aid to be represented by a QC, as the case is being prosecuted by a barrister of the same seniority.
His barrister Michelle Heeley QC told the court that a number of character witnesses will give evidence “about his propensity to kiss people in a non-sexual manner”.
During the 10-minute hearing, Gascoigne had to be asked to be quiet by the Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton.
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.”
He then apologised to the judge.
Gascoigne, who played for Newcastle United, Spurs, Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton, among other clubs, was granted unconditional bail ahead of his trial.