World boxing champ Glenn McCrory has been cleared of sexually assaulting three waitresses after insisting he was only trying to get their attention.
McCrory, 59, was a guest speaker at a pre fight dinner before the Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Uysk world heavyweight title bout at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 26, 2021.
Several guests including McCrory – a cruiserweight once known as the ‘Northern Warrior’ – said the service on the night was terrible and he asked staff about his order.
County Durham-born McCrory showed no emotion as the jury of eight men and four women cleared him of three counts of sexual assault after deliberating for less than 90 minutes. He had denied the charges.
The judge, Ms Alexia Power told him: ‘Thank you Mr McCrory, you are free to go.’
World boxing champ Glenn McCrory has been cleared of sexually assaulting three waitresses
McCrory, 59 is a cruiserweight once known as the ‘Northern Warrior’ (pictured in 1990)
Prosecutors claimed he deliberately used the term ‘pet’ in an overly flirtatious way but the boxer told the jury the word is commonly used by Geordies.
The former world champion boxer said when he arrived at the venue the member of staff who greeted him did not know who he was and said she could not find his name on the guest list.
McCrory said he had to lean down to speak to her due as she was petite and because it was noisy, but he had no recollection of touching her.
He said: ‘I just leaned down. I may well have touched her elbow but I am a big guy so I would never be forceful.’
The court was shown CCTV footage of McCrory at the entrance to the dining hall showing him talking with one of the alleged victims.
It clearly shows him touching her elbow with his hand as he leaned down to speak to her.
He told jurors that he was asking her where his table was, and that he touched her elbow due to their height difference.
Scott Brady, defending, asked: ‘Do you think you were intending to be flirtatious?’
The former cruiserweight champion (right) was the IBF world title holder from 1989 to 1990. Pictured, Lennox Lewis delivers a punch to the head of challenger Glenn McCrory during the British and European Heavyweight fight at the Royal Albert Hall, London
Mr McCrory had been a guest of honour at the dinner, held in part of Tottenham’s Lilywhite House (pictured), before Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight match against Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
The ex-fighter replied: ‘No.’
He also denied winking to her.
After he had given his speech, which lasted 20 to 30 minutes, McCrory returned to his table.
He said he hadn’t been given a starter after being told one would be kept for him.
McCrory said when he tried to raise this one of the servers had a ‘troubled reaction’ to his use of the word ‘pet’ while speaking to her.
‘Everyone at the table noticed the reaction,’ he said.
McCrory added that in the north-east of England the word ‘pet’ is a term of endearment and is often used to address young women in the same way you might address a man as ‘mate’.
He said that when she came back to his table he tried to get her attention to ask her about his starter.
He said: ‘She turned her back on me as I was trying to talk to her, blatantly ignoring me, so I touched her elbow.
‘I was trying to get her attention. She turned around and said it was in the bin.’
He denied stroking her hand or arm, and insisted: ‘All I wanted to do was get my dinner and watch the fight.’
McCrory described the quality of service as ‘appalling’.
CCTV footage played in court showed McCrory interacting with other guests at the event.
McCrory denied the charges and said he was only trying to get their attention due to the ‘appalling’ service
A number of people were taking selfies with the former champion as he hugged and put his arms around them.
‘You are being very tactile with these people,’ Mr Brady said.
McCrory agreed, adding: ‘If they are being friendly and I am in the right environment.’
He added that this was the way he normally interacted with others at events like this.
Mr Brady asked him: ‘If you touched those waitresses…was there anything sexual about it?’
McCrory replied: ‘Absolutely not.’
He also said he has poor eyesight, and has scar tissue in his eyes due to congenital problems and damage sustained during his boxing career.
This can cause him to rub his eyes and blink a lot.
The women had claimed McCrory touched them in a sexual manner without their consent, repeatedly winked at them and slurred his words.
McCrory – a cruiserweight once known as the ‘Northern Warrior’ – had insisted he was misunderstood and people are friendlier in the north east than in London.
In his police interview he said he said he had no recollection of touching a waitress, but that if he had done so it would only have been to get their attention.
He described the service as ‘very poor’ and said one server ‘scarpered’ when he approached her to ask where the toilet was.
McCrory said that using words like ‘pet’ was normal in the north-east of England, and that he had not intended to cause any offence.
He explained: ‘It’s how we talk. That’s part of the Geordie.
‘I very well could have called her a darling, called her a pet, but 100 per cent how we speak.’
He said that he was unaware anything untoward had happened that night, and that he had been ‘astounded’ when he later received a letter from the police notifying him of the complaints.
Asked if he had intended to cause any of the waitresses stress or alarm he replied: ‘Absolutely not.’
McCrory, of Burnopfield, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, denied and was cleared of three charges of sexual assault.
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