MI5 spy: Assault and harassment claims 'total nonsense'

An MI5 spy has dismissed as "total nonsense" allegations that he harassed and assaulted his former girlfriend.

At London's Southwark Crown Court, the defendant, who is using a false name for security reasons, told the jury that he did not think his ex-girlfriend had ever been frightened of him.

Mark Barton denies two assault counts and one of harassment against the woman, who is also a spy.

A charge of sexual assault against Mr Barton has been dropped.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between August and December 2011.

During cross-examination, prosecutor Alison Morgan asked Mr Barton if he had ever been violent towards his ex-girlfriend, referred to in court only as 2363.

Mr Barton replied: "That's a ridiculous suggestion. That's absolute, total nonsense. I've never been physically aggressive to her in my life."

Asked if she had been scared of him, he said: "There's absolutely no way she was frightened whatsoever."

'One for me'

The pair met while working for the security services in 2009 and began what the prosecution has called an "intense and passionate" relationship in 2010, but within a year the woman had ended it.

Mr Barton told the jury that after the relationship had ended, it was pure coincidence that he twice ended up being on the same Tube platform as the complainant when she was on her way home.

Mr Barton said he later visited the home of 2363's mother, hoping to see her there. Although she was out, he said, he was invited in for tea and stayed for about 45 minutes.

"The message from her mother was that [her daughter] was an incredibly stubborn person: 'I know my daughter better than anyone, you have got to give her time'," he said.

Asked if he had told 2363's mother that the couple would be "married in two years", Mr Barton told the court: "I did not say we would be married in two years but I made it very clear that I was very committed to her.

"I think I probably said I thought she was the one for me."

The trial was adjourned and continues on Wednesday.

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