Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 16:29 UK

Soap actor denies fondle claims

A former Emmerdale actor accused of fondling a model in a Hull nightclub has described her claims as "completely untrue".

The woman told Hull Crown Court on Thursday that Lewis Linford, 22, had touched her and asked for sex at the Pozition club on 22 December 2007.

Mr Linford, gamekeeper Lee Naylor in the soap, has denied sexual assault and said the woman had attacked him.

"I think she said I touched her up in order to justify hitting me", he said.

Mr Linford, who is being tried under his real name Lewis Smales, told the court that he had been queuing behind the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at a cashpoint inside the club.

The actor said she attacked him when he started using the machine while she was distracted. She hit his hands on the cash machine and tried to pull his fingers back, Mr Linford said.

He told the court she then punched him three times. "I was very taken aback by it, I was shocked", he said.

Mr Linford, of Swanland in Hull, had only been in Emmerdale once almost a year earlier at the time of the incident. He later starred in the soap for 10 months between September 2008 and June 2009.

The trial continues.

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