A FORMER mayor has pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault against a teenage girl at a Bonfire Night event.

Derek Green, 67, of Battery Hill, Stanmore, Winchester, who appeared at the Basingstoke Magistrates Court on Thursday, January 11, denied the charge and chose for his case to be heard at a crown court.

As previously reported, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly touched inappropriately over her clothing at the Winchester Bonfire and Fireworks display at River Park on Saturday, November 5, 2022.

Green, who was attending the event in an official capacity as the Mayor of Winchester, was later charged by police.

READ MORE: Former mayor accused of sexually assaulting teen at fireworks event

He was stood down from further engagements and did not stand for re-election in May 2023.

At Basingstoke magistrates court, Green spoke only to say his name and address, and to plead not guilty.

Prosecutor Kerry Richardson told the three-member magistrates that the offence is at the lower end of the threshold and can be heard at magistrates court.

The magistrates gave Green the opportunity to decide whether his matter be heard at a lower court or by a jury at the crown court.

Green said he would like the matter to be heard at the crown court.

He was represented by Drew Pettifer.

The magistrate then adjourned the case to Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday, February 14.