Nigel Evans trial: Man says MP 'had hands all over me'

Nigel Evans Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nigel Evans denies all of the charges

Former deputy speaker Nigel Evans had his hands "all over" a male Westminster worker and tried to kiss him, the man told Preston Crown Court.

The man said the MP's advance was "unexpected" and a "shock" after the pair had been drinking with a group of colleagues.

Mr Evans, 56, denies one count of rape, two counts of indecent assault and six counts of sexual assault.

The man claimed Mr Evans told him: "You're gorgeous."

The witness said he had been drinking in the Strangers' Bar in the Commons in February 2011 when Mr Evans greeted him with a glass of champagne and invited him to join his group.

He said Mr Evans invited the group to join him in a conference room near the Deputy Speaker's Office.

'You're gorgeous'

The witness, who admitted he was "tipsy" at the time, said he was led down a corridor by Mr Evans who invited him to see his new kitchen.

The complainant, who said he was pushed into the kitchen, added: "It was pitch black and then very quickly he kind of came forward and put his arms all over me and tried to kiss me.

"Then he took my hand and placed it on his crotch. I felt his lips on mine at that point."

The complainant told the court: "He touched my crotch, he touched my bum... over the top of my clothing.

"I remember him saying something like 'you're gorgeous'. I didn't say anything because I was in shock."

He said he pushed the MP away and left as quickly as possible. The man then said he told friends what had happened.

The witness told the court: "Because of how much I liked Nigel I think I decided to convince myself it was a one-off and that he got carried away, and he overstepped the line. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

"And in Parliament, people don't tend to have confidence in reporting anything about MPs."

Facebook message

The complainant said he believed the disciplinary system was "more concerned about how things appear rather than with actually what happened".

The court heard that Mr Evans sent the complainant a Facebook message several days after the kitchen incident, writing, "Hi [the alleged victim], my mobile number is ...., great to see you the other day."

The young man responded: "Hi. Thanks for allowing us to gatecrash your drinks. We [he and his friend] both had fun."

Evans then replied: "Yep, great fun!"

The complainant told the court: "I kind of took it as him thinking, 'Do I need to worry about this incident being reported?'."

Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC asked the complainant about his relationship with the MP prior to February 2011.

'Like Savile'

He replied: "He was someone I liked very much.

"I can be quite cynical about MPs but I thought that he was one of the nice guys."

The witness told Mr Heywood the arrest of Mr Evans last May prompted him to contact a senior officer at Lancashire Police who he knew.

Under cross-examination from Peter Wright QC, defending, the witness denied he was making false allegations.

Asked why he came forward so late, the man said: "It's like Savile with the BBC and the way they covered things up."

The witness also said he had spoken to journalists from The Sunday Times, The Guardian and ITN but had not taken any money from anyone.

The trial continues.

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