Former boxing champion Glenn McCrory has been cleared of three counts of sexual assault arising from a charity dinner before an Anthony Joshua world title fight in London.

The ex-cruiserweight world title holder and later a Sky Sport TV boxing pundit, from County Durham, was alleged to have stroked the arms of teenage women, winked and made flirtatious, inappropriate remarks, at the event at which he was a speaker, on September 25, 2021.

Wood Green Crown Court in London heard the 59-year-old defendant was guest at the dinner at the London Academy of Excellence, next to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where the then multi-heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua was fighting challenger Oleksandr Usyk, later that night.

The Ukrainian went on to beat Joshua in their first of now two clashes.

During the earlier dinner Mr McCrory was said to have appeared worse the wear for drink, slurring his words and referred to the three complainants as “darling” and “babe”.

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Asked by one of the women which table he was sitting at, he is alleged to have replied: “Whatever table you are at, darling.”

Richard Paton-Philip, prosecuting, told the court that the defendant winked and spoke “flirtatiously” to a second young woman, who said she felt “uncomfortable” at his behaviour, and “froze” as he stroked one of her arms up to four times.

Read more: Glenn McCrory: County Durham boxer facing trial on sex assault charges

He is also said to have put a hand around her waist as she was about to walk away.

The third complainant said he grabbed her arm and stroked her hand.

Complaints were made by all three women to event organisers and the defendant was interviewed at Wood Green Police Station later on a voluntary basis, accompanied by a solicitor.

He told police he attended the event on a professional basis, to give a speech.

The defendant recalled having had a few drinks and he remembered speaking to some of the young women present, but claimed it was on a friendly basis and he apologised if he had upset anyone.

He told police that people in the North East are a lot friendlier than in London and he was sorry if he was thought to have been over-flirtatious but repeated he had not intended to upset anyone.

Mr McCrory said when he heard that complaints had been made he thought it might relate to his language while giving his speech.

He told police that he went to a local pub after the event but denied being drunk.

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The prosecution said that none of the women invited him to touch them.

But the defendant maintained his claim that he was just being friendly and there was no sexual intention behind any of the touching.

On the fourth day of the trial today (Thursday September 28) the jury retired to deliberate shortly before 3pm.

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They came back into court to return unanimous not guilty verdicts on all three counts shortly before 4.30pm.

The trial judge, Mrs Recorder Alexia Power, then discharged the defendant from the dock.

Following an application by defence counsel, Scott Brady KC, Recorder Power agreed Mr McCrory, of Anderson Court, Burnopfield, near Stanley, could be awarded an expenses order from central funds to cover his expenditure during proceedings in the case in London.