A stag party reveller who was accused of groping a female DJ’s bottom while she played music in a bar has been cleared of sexual assault after insisting he accidentally touched her while drunkenly requesting a Busta Rhymes song.
Leon Ambrose, 45, was arrested after he was accused of fondling the woman’s bottom and thigh over her body suit as he entered the Liverpool bar’s booth – in an attack that left her feeling ‘violated’.
It was also claimed he kissed her on the head over her headphones while she played.
But the trained actor and youth worker said he was trying to speak into her ear to make the song request as the music was loud.
At Sefton Magistrates’ Court, Ambrose, of Leicester, was cleared of three charges of sexual assault after Justices of the Peace who watched CCTV footage of the encounter said there was no evidence of any ‘sexual’ touching.
Speaking after the verdict, Ambrose said: ‘Since this happened I have not dared speak to a woman. I haven’t even looked at a woman. No more drinking out for me anymore – I am going to drink at home in future.’
Leon Ambrose, 45, was arrested after he was accused of fondling the woman’s bottom and thigh over her body suit as he entered the Liverpool bar’s booth
The trained actor and youth worker said he was trying to speak into her ear to make the song request as the music was loud
He said he initially touched her in a bid to get her attention as she was blanking him then said he might have inadvertently touched her again when he tripped on a step and stumbled whilst getting into the DJ booth.
Ambrose had become detached from his stag party group and ended up in a bar where the DJ was working, after travelling to Liverpool for a friend’s stag party.
She was sat in a small booth which is accessed by a step and a swing door when Ambrose approached her.
The DJ – who cannot be named – said: ‘He stood smiling at me then started blowing at me to get my attention.
‘I leaned forward but I believe he kissed the band on my headphones on the right side of my head. I pulled away as it made me feel quite uncomfortable.
‘I had given no indication that I wanted any interaction like that and I have never seen this man in my life.
He said he initially touched her in a bid to get her attention as she was blanking him then said he might have inadvertently touched her again when he tripped on a step and stumbled whilst getting into the DJ booth
‘He remained in the area then he came up to the side of the booth and asked me to play Busta Rhymes.
‘I was sitting on my chair leaning over and I felt a touch to the backside. His hand moved briefly upwards and I removed myself and then he moved himself.
‘He got just above the hip and I started texting management at this point. I was sat on the chair and he was right next to me.
‘There was no way I could get away because he was sat in front of the exit from the booth.
‘He placed his hand on my leg, the outside of my leg, the lower part of the thigh. He started running his hand upwards.
‘I moved indicating that was not what I wanted and he removed himself again. He made me feel quite violated.’
She added: ‘I felt very skittish after the incident.’
Ambrose was ejected from the club by security after the DJ called her management ‘urgently’, and he then went back to his hotel.
At Sefton Magistrates’ Court, Ambrose was cleared of three charges of sexual assault after Justices of the Peace who watched CCTV footage of the encounter said there was no evidence of any ‘sexual’ touching
But he was arrested the following evening when friends of the woman spotted him in a nearby bar with the rest of the stag party.
Solicitor Ann Paula Grogan, prosecuting, said: ‘He told police he could not remember the incident due to intoxication.
‘He had come to Liverpool for a stag party and had been drinking for hours. He cannot remember whether he touched her leg or not but if he did, it would not have been in a sexual way.
‘He also said she should put precautions in place to stop drunken males approaching her and touching them if she was not happy with it.
‘He said as a female working in a bar, she should expect drunken men to approach her and she may want to consider getting another job.’
Ambrose told the court the incident occurred after he had ‘quite a bit to drink’.
He told the court: ‘I was putting in a request for a Busta Rhymes track but it was very difficult for her to hear what I’m saying so I come around to the side.
‘I was not at the top of her head where the headphones band is, I was talking in her ear.
‘I just wanted some acknowledgment. My song request has not come up and I was just trying to make sure that she’s going to put it on.
‘The door staff came and said: “You are not allowed behind the booth” and I said: “I am terribly sorry.”
‘I did not touch her in a sexual manner. I remember trying to get her attention so that she would acknowledge me as a person. I was not making moves or making advances to her.’
‘When the security guard told me that I had upset her, I did not go out anywhere near her again. I went there to have a good time, to listen to the music and enjoy the atmosphere.
‘I have not gone there to upset her. That’s not what I wanted.’
He continued: ‘Why would I want to kiss a complete stranger? We were not even on a date. There was no signal, no flirting. I’m not going to go from “Play me a song” to “Let’s have a snog.”
‘If I touched her, it was less than two seconds, not enough time to get any sexual pleasure from that.
‘When the police arrested me, kept me in a cell and then thrust me into a room and told me I was being charged with a sexual allegation, it was quite a lot for me to contend with – it was overwhelming.
‘In the police station I thought I was going to be sent to prison and not be allowed to work with kids or see my daughters.
‘I thought I was going to be put on the Sex Offenders’ Register. I was mortified.
In clearing Ambrose, Justice of the Peace Ryan O’Connell said: ‘There was some discrepancy in the evidence given to the court and the CCTV footage. We did not see any evidence that the touching was sexual in nature.’