31/07/2003

Sex charges against TV presenter are dropped

The television presenter John Leslie has seen the two sex assault charges he was facing dropped by the CPS today.

Mr Leslie, 38, had been charged with carrying out two alleged assaults on the same woman in May 1997. However, as was widely predicted in the media, all charges against Mr Leslie were dropped at Southwark Crown Court this morning.

On the steps of the court, Mr Leslie told reporters: "I am an innocent man. I have maintained my innocence throughout and today it's been justified."

Mr Leslie has always maintained his innocence and had said that he looked forward to a trial so that he could repair his reputation. While that will not now happen, the TV personality spoke of his relief that the "hell" of the past year was now over.

In a statement the CPS said that it had "come into possession of further material that has led to the charges against the defendant being reviewed".

"As a result of that review, a decision has been taken to offer no evidence against Mr Leslie," the statement read.

"In offering no evidence against him the prosecution gladly acknowledge that he will leave this court without a stain on his character from this investigation."

The presenter was arrested on December 5 last year by police investigating allegations of rape and indecent assault, and was later released on bail.

Mr Leslie was sacked by Granada in October from his role as co-presenter on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ after the allegations emerged.

(GMcG)

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