Brian Greenslade's wife says she was horrified by sex assault claims

Former Devon County Council leader Brian Greenslade

Former Devon County Council leader Brian Greenslade - Credit: Archant

The wife of former Devon County Council leader Brian Greenslade said she was shocked and devastated when he was accused of sexual assault. 

Margaret Greenslade told Exeter Crown Court that she had been married to the ex-councillor for more than 45 years and was dismayed at the allegations. 

Mr Greenslade is on trial accused of sexually assaulting three women in the 1990s and 2000s. He has already denied the accusations and described one of them as ‘absolute nonsense’. 

His wife Margaret told the jury they had two grown up children and four grandchildren. 

She said: “When I heard of the allegations, I was horrified and I could not believe it. This has been a total nightmare with our friends and the community. It has been devastating. 

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“Brian is very kind and helpful and was always very concerned about others. We have been married for more than 45 years and that should speak for itself.” 

Mr Greenslade, aged 72, of Longpiece, Marwood, near Barnstaple, denies two counts of indecently assault and one of sexual assault. 

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The prosecution allege Mr Greenslade sexually assaulted one woman by putting his hand down her trousers during a council planning site visit, and touched the breasts of others at an office in Barnstaple and a reception at County Hall. 

He has given evidence that none of the incidents happened and he has never behaved inappropriately towards any of the women. 

A series of character witnesses gave evidence in support of Mr Greenslade. 

Mrs Carole Wright, who worked with him for 22 years at a firm in North Devon, said she never heard of any accusations against him. She said: “I am surprised there is a major allegation against him.” 

Mrs Brenda Taylor, and Mrs Rachel Gilmour, who worked with him as Liberal Democrats, and Frances Bell, who ran an arts organisation in North Devon, both said professional, discreet and principled in all her dealings with them and others. 

The trial continues.

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