A man who alleges he was indecently assaulted by Nigel Evans told a court the MP put his hand down his trousers twice during a night out in Soho – but said the incident was “drunken over-familiarity, rather than being of a sexual nature”.

The BBC reports the alleged victim said he dismissed the incident as “just Nigel being drunken Nigel”.

“He had definitely been drinking, he was acting very drunk and I do remember he seemed to sober up quite quickly,” the man said.

Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, asked the man when he became first aware of something untoward.

He said: “some fingers had gone down my trousers. He had a reputation.

“I walked away rather than make a scene. I did not want him to think I was interested.”

The alleged victim told Preston Crown Court on Tuesday that at first he thought Mr Evans was being tactile, but it was “not a sort of comedy squeeze”.

The alleged incident is said to have taken place while the man was out with friends in 2002.

It was claimed Mr Evans, then the shadow secretary of state for Wales, indecently assaulted him by putting his hand down his trousers at a pub called the Sanctuary on Greek Street in Soho, London.

“I walked away rather than make a scene. I did not want him to think I was interested.”

He told the court: “I was annoyed by it.

“I thought if I don’t walk away I’m going to hit him.”

The man said the MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire then put his hand down his trousers again, prompting the witness, then aged 27, to tell a friend: “I’m going to punch him.”

He told the court: “She said, ‘You can’t do that – the shadow secretary of state for Wales’.”

The witness said at the time Mr Evans “was my friend, and I certainly forgave him for it because he was drunk.”

“I have almost forgotten it,” he said.

“When I heard he had been arrested I could not believe it,” he said. “I saw him in a corridor and he looked really dreadful.

“I sent him an email asking if he wanted to come for a drink and ‘stay strong’.”

He said he did not see himself as a victim of crime and gave a statement to the police after they contacted him last July.

He told police: “It was almost like a drunken 14-year-old at a disco who could not chat you up with words.”

Yesterday, Preston Crown Court heard claims that Nigel Evans allegedly raped a university student at his Lancashire home.

Mr Evans denies the charge.

Separate charges against the 56-year-old MP include an alleged indecent assault against a man inside a parliamentary bar – and against another man at the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool in 2003.

The MP denies two counts of indecent assault, six of sexual assault and one of rape.

Mr Evans resigned as deputy speaker of the House of Commons after he was charged in September last year.

The trial continues.

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