UK & World News

  • 11 March 2014, 21:31

Nigel Evans: Man 'Wanted To Punch' MP

A Westminster worker who alleged Nigel Evans sexually assaulted him in 2002 told a friend he was going to "punch" the MP following the incident, a court has heard.

The man told Preston Crown Court Evans put his hand down the back of his trousers at the Sanctuary bar in Soho during a night out with friends.

He told jurors he moved away from him "rather than make a scene" and told a female friend he was "going to punch him" after he allegedly did it for a second time.

The witness said: "It was just a normal going out and having fun and I thought, 'Oh God, he's doing it to me now'.

"He was like a drunken 14-year-old at a school disco who could not chat you up with words."

When asked by prosecutor Mark Heywood QC when he first became aware that something had happened, he said: "That some fingers had gone down my trousers. He was on one side of me... because he had a reputation.

"I was annoyed by it. I thought if I don't walk away I'm going to hit him."

The man then alleged Evans put his hand down his trousers again and he told a female friend "I'm going to punch him".

He added: "She said, 'you can't do that - he is the shadow secretary of state for Wales'."

The man confirmed he had socialised with Evans on a number of occasions since the alleged assault, but had never discussed the matter.

He told the court he considered the matter at the time "as like a big joke" and was shocked when Evans was arrested.

Under cross-examination he dismissed suggestions that Evans had been trying to steady himself, but accepted he had "physically and emotionally brushed the incident off".

He said: "He was quite persistent and I was annoyed but at the same time he was my friend, and I certainly forgave him for it because he was drunk.

"When I heard he had been arrested I could not believe it. I sent him an email asking if he wanted to come for a drink, and to 'stay strong'.

"It was like we were out one night and the shadow secretary of state for Wales puts his hands down my trousers. Crazy, crazy Westminster. It seemed so funny."

A second alleged victim told the court Evans had assaulted him at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool during the Conservative Party conference in 2003.

He said that he felt "annoyance and embarrassment" after Evans had allegedly put his hand down his trousers twice.

Evans, 56, faces nine charges dating from 2002 to April 1 last year. The MP for Ribble Valley, in Lancashire, denies two counts of indecent assault, six of sexual assault and one of rape.

The trial continues.

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