A former councillor and erotic novelist who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman has lost his appeal to clear his name.

David Burcombe, 74, of Arundel Drive, Borehamwood, was handed a three-month community order last August after he placed his hand on a woman’s bottom and stroked it, in a church, in September 2015.

When the woman turned around, he smiled at her, which she said made her feel uncomfortable.

Burcombe, of Arundel Road, had represented the Borehamwood Cowley Hill ward on Hertsmere Borough Council. He resigned from his post in January 2016.

Burcombe, who has published two books described as “adult fantasy sex novels under the pen name David Johns, today lost his appeal at the Court of Appeal in London.

After his trial, Burcombe claimed his barrister did not represent him properly, by telling him not to give evidence and failing to call some witnesses.

But his appeal was rejected by three senior judges, who said his legal team could not be criticised.

Dismissing his appeal, Mrs Justice Carr - sitting with Lord Justice Flaux and Judge Peter Collier QC - said: "In our judgment, there is no arguable basis for the criticism of trial counsel.

"We are wholly satisfied that this application is devoid of any merit."