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John Leslie is found not guilty of fumbling on a woman's breasts at the 2008 Christmas party


John Leslie broke down today and cried after being found not guilty of fondling a woman at a 2008 Christmas party.

Former Blue Peter host, 55, was accused of grabbing a woman's breasts at the celebrity event, but said the incident never happened.

He was freed from Southwark Crown Court for the second time today after a jury of nine men and three women cleared him of sexual assault after just 23 minutes of deliberation.

It is the second time he has successfully brought charges of sexual assault in the same court. However, the case will do little to restore his tarnished reputation as his own attorney calls him "embarrassing".

Leslie's career first took a downward spiral when he was falsely accused by TV presenter Matthew Wright of raping Ulrika Jonsson. He later apologized and said he had given his name in error.

Other women have brought indecent assault charges against Leslie. He was arrested for one rape and two for indecent assault in December 2002 before being released on bail after an interview.

In June 2003 he was charged with assaulting a woman twice between May 25 and May 28, 1997. The charges were dropped in Southwark Crown Court on July 31, 2003, after new information about the alleged victim emerged.

But he remained the subject of a scandal when photos surfaced showing him using cocaine and a stolen sex tape of a threesome with Leslie and his then-girlfriend Abi Titmuss, a nurse who later became a glamor model, was posted on the internet.

Judge Deborah Taylor, who used Leslie's legal name, said today: "Mr. Stott, you are leaving this court for the second time without harming your character and I hope it will be the last time you will have to attend."

John Leslie was released from court today after being found not guilty by a jury on allegations that he grabbed a woman's breasts at a Christmas party in central London on December 5, 2008

After today's not guilty verdict, an emotional Leslie slapped her forehead against the dock's glass before putting his hand over his face and crying.

His father Les got up, hit the air, and fell crying with his head in his hands.

As his son looked down at the public gallery through tears of his own, Les shook both fists in triumph.

The court had previously heard a woman claim out of nowhere that the "overexcited" presenter, who "didn't come out much," grabbed her breasts and gave a "hearty laugh" as she introduced herself to him.

Witnesses in the bar in the West End said they learned of the alleged incident 12 years ago but did not see it.

The Scot had told the jury that he did not remember attending the party and called the only sexual assault allegation on December 5, 2008, "crazy" and "ridiculous".

When he gave evidence, he said, "I would not have touched you like a mannequin and walked away."

He told the jury that he had previously been classified as an "aggressive, sexual monster" by the tabloids for denying ever assaulting a woman, and said it was "not in my nature".

Leslie said his life changed completely in 2002 when he was mistakenly identified on live television as an unnamed suspected rapist in his ex-girlfriend Ulrika Jonsson's autobiography.

Moderator Matthew Wright later apologized and said he mistakenly named him, the court was told.

Ms. Jonsson never complained to the police, the jury heard.

Edinburgh-based Leslie said he was never sexually assaulted before his name was mistakenly linked to the book, describing the fallout as "Armageddon."

Famous Faces Fern Britton, Anthea Turner, Yvette Fielding, and Diane-Louise Jordan made character statements to support their boyfriend from the time they presented This Morning and Blue Peter, calling him a "gentleman."

Gudrun Young, who defended himself, told the court today that Leslie was the victim of "media trial" and that the alleged victim's account was fraught with inconsistencies.

Speaking to the jury, she said, “If you knew anything about him, I would suggest that the two things you would have talked about are Blue Peter and sexual inappropriateness since 2002.

Nevertheless, he is and remains a man of good character. No beliefs, no precautions. He was never found to have harmed anyone.

She described his treatment as "media witch hunt".

Former Blue Peter presenters Diane-Louise Jordan (left) and Anthea Turner leave Southwark Crown Court after defending Leslie

Former Blue Peter presenters Diane-Louise Jordan (left) and Anthea Turner leave Southwark Crown Court after defending Leslie

John Leslie and Ulrika Jonsson introduced themselves presenting the big breakfast in 1993

John Leslie and Ulrika Jonsson introduced themselves presenting the big breakfast in 1993

She added, “His career has been ruined, his life plagued by completely unfounded allegations. He's been made to look like a monster in the tabloids. All without a single proof.

"At least this time it will be brought to justice."

Turning to the alleged victim's evidence, she said, “There was something very strange about the report that she gave some parts that didn't really make sense and some parts that didn't match other evidence in the case.

"She has changed, adjusted, and massed her evidence to explain the bizarre fact that she says this man went in full sight of others to commit this brazen sexual assault, but no one seems to have seen it. "

She asked the jury to return a not guilty verdict, adding, "It's just not believable."

Leslie is pictured today with his father Lesley Stott

Leslie is pictured today with his father Lesley Stott

& # 39; It just didn't happen. He knows that he has done nothing and has nothing to hide.

& # 39; There are two John Leslies. The John Leslie who was portrayed in the press as a sex pest.

"There's the John Leslie and the real John Leslie known to his friends and colleagues."

Leslie spoke at an earlier hearing about the night in December 2008 and said, “I don't remember that particular party, but I do remember having spoken extensively with Jade Goody.

& # 39; She was very sick. I know she was pretty upset with the way the tabloids treated her.

"I think it was that year because I know she died not long after."

He added: “I have no idea who (the alleged victim) is. There was no need to speak to her or meet her.

“The idea that I would do this is just crazy, especially how I was and everything that had happened.

I was paranoid (based on previous allegations). I was aware, aware. Going to a complete stranger and just doing that would be ridiculous and would never have happened. I can't imagine why she thought it happened.

“I would have said hello but not touched her and walked away. I am not. It would never have happened. & # 39;

He also said, & # 39; It's not a backward industry. We treat women fairly. People don't go around attacking women. It's just not done.

“You wouldn't let it. It is not allowed. It is not something that people would condone or allow.

“People wouldn't see it and let it happen. If I had seen it, I would not have let it. I would never do that. & # 39;

Fern Britton came out to defend Leslie at his trial

Leslie (above) in a 1989 photo with Mark Curry, Caron Keating, and Yvette Fielding

Fern Britton (left) came out to defend Leslie at his trial, as did Yvette Fielding (pictured below right).

How John Leslie went from sparkling clean Blue Peter presenter to scandals like the false claim by Ulrika Jonsson and the threesome sex tape with Abi Titmuss

John Leslie was sexually assaulted today, but the news will come too late for a man who has been repeatedly haunted by scandals by a squeaky clean Blue Peter host.

The 55-year-old, who also featured in This Morning, was found not guilty by a jury for alleging he grabbed a woman's breasts at a Christmas party in central London on December 5, 2008.

Prior to the trial, Leslie had been investigated astonishingly many times on various allegations of sexual assault against the police since he was falsely accused of raping Ulrika Jonsson in 2002.

Dozens of other women have publicly accused him of similar shoddy behavior while he was the subject of violent revelations about his sex life (including his starring role in a threesome sex tape with Abi Titmuss) and cocaine use.

A number of former Blue Peter presenters gathered around Leslie at his trial. Anthea Turner, Diane Louise Jordan, and Yvette Fielding took positions calling him a "gentleman" and denying that he was ever inappropriate to women.

Leslie was never found guilty of any crime, but his own lawyer claimed today that he had become a "notorious" and a "nobody" because of the repeated claims against him.

The former star, who once earned £ 350,000 a year, last lived in a bungalow in Edinburgh and did DJ jobs to make extra money.

John Leslie (right) with his Blue Peter colleagues Jonathan Coleman and Annabel Giles

John Leslie (right) with his Blue Peter colleagues Jonathan Coleman and Annabel Giles

The past two decades have been a downward spiral for a man who has seen a spectacular rise from the son of a newspaper seller to one of the UK's most famous television personalities.

In 2002, Leslie was mistakenly named by TV presenter Matthew Wright as the rapist of Ulrika Jonsson, about whom she wrote anonymously in her autobiography from 2002.

Wright later said he couldn't remember saying Leslie's name during the show.

On a Sky One show, Wright apologized to John Leslie. Leslie confirmed he wasn't going to sue Wright, saying, "I think he just made a really big mistake and sadly, I was the one who paid the price."

Jonsson made no public comments on Leslie and did not identify any cooperation with the police on the matter. Police investigated Leslie but never charged him with the alleged crime.

Other women have brought indecent assault charges against Leslie. He was arrested in December 2002 for one rape and two for indecent assault before being released on bail after an interview.

In June 2003 he was charged with assaulting a woman twice between May 25 and May 28, 1997.

The charges were dropped in Southwark Crown Court on July 31, 2003 after new information became available about the alleged victim.

Leslie later appeared on the courthouse steps and said, visibly trembling, “I am an innocent man. I have consistently kept my innocence and today it is justified. & # 39;

Timeline: Damn claims that torpedoed Leslie & # 39; s career

2002 – Journalist Mark Wright falsely accuses Leslie of raping Ulrika Jonsson.

2002 (December) – He is arrested for one rape and two for indecent assault before being released on bail after an interview.

June 2003 – Two woman charges between May 25 and 28, 1997. Those charges were dropped on July 31.

2004 – Photos are taken of him using cocaine and a stolen sex tape of a threesome with Leslie and his girlfriend at the time, Abi Titmuss, a nurse who later became a glamor model, was posted on the Internet.

The Scot began his professional life as a piano teacher, who made DJ appearances in a disco in his spare time.

He did well and got slots in bigger and bigger clubs before he was invited to submit a show role for a job that presented a music show on a satellite channel.

Then in 1989 the BBC called him for an audition and he got the coveted job of Blue Peter Presenter for £ 16,800.

Leslie correctly figured the job would lead to other, more lucrative opportunities – as it duly happened when he moved on five years later.

"I did a short-lived, big-budget, gladiators-style show called Scavengers in 1994 and made £ 15,000 an episode," he told the Telegraph in a rare interview. "That's when I realized I was making decent money."

He then presented Wheel of Fortune, initially shooting three shows a week for £ 2,000 per show. His income was further increased to £ 350,000 a year when he began performing This Morning with Fern Britton in 2001.

While with Blue Peter, he dated actress Catherine Zeta-Jones for 18 months and admitted in later years that she was the only woman he ever truly loved.

"I should have been a lot more responsible, sensitive and conscious," he said. Someone said if I had been a rock star it would have been accepted while people wanted to pick me up because I was a Blue Peter host.

“I didn't know how to deal with my private life. The party was around the clock and I trusted too many people and soon the wheels would come off. & # 39;

In 2003, Leslie left the court after being told that he had done so "without staining his character".

But the damage had been done. Photos of him using cocaine had surfaced and a stolen sex tape of a threesome with Leslie and his then-girlfriend, Abi Titmuss, a nurse who later became a glamor model, was posted on the internet.

After a statutory bill of £ 500,000 was payable and ITV terminated its contract, Leslie was forced to look elsewhere for funds.

Undoubtedly, envisioning that one day his career would be revived, he turned to real estate development. After all, he had already supervised the construction of his million dollar dream home.

Although it has been reported that he made a fortune renovating several apartments and a nursing home in London, he appears to have been hit hard by the 2008 financial crash.

After renting out his bachelorette party for a few years, Leslie had no choice but to part with it in 2010.

"I asked the bank to keep the Richmond house but had to sell it for £ 3.5 million when the crash happened and the bank wanted their money back," he said.

“I paid them back every penny, but there was nothing left. I thought I would get out with some money, but I sold at the worst possible time. & # 39;

At this point he was living in Edinburgh, where he bought a bungalow near his Septuagenarian parents Leslie and Lexia Stott (their son took "Leslie" as his last name).

He would buy more properties in the area, although the investments seem to be difficult. A six bedroom home was bought for £ 1.25 million in 2006.

It was re-launched in 2009 for £ 2.5million, but sold for £ 1.8million in 2013 – a decent sum, although the extensive renovations Leslie had done would undoubtedly have weighed on profits.

He also bought two neighboring bungalows, including the one he last lived in. The other was sold to a London couple for £ 485,000.

Leslie was most recently known for playing DJ slots in local Edinburgh clubs.

He previously talked about wanting to be one "Flag bearers" to promote anonymity for people accused of sex crimes.

Leslie told the Daily Record that names of defendants should be withheld because "your life will be destroyed before you are charged".

Leslie vigorously denied the sexual assault allegations he was released from at his last trial.

Leslie shows off a Thunderbirds doll on Blue Peter, where he was a popular presenter

Leslie shows off a Thunderbirds doll on Blue Peter, where he was a popular presenter

His lawyer, Gudrun Young, told the court today that his youngest accuser could stage a "wise lie" because her client was "a bit embarrassed".

"Since his fall from grace in 2002, he has become infamous and infamous, not for his television work but for allegations of a sexual, bizarre, scandalous nature," she said.

“Media processes are the worst and most unfair way to be judged. They can ruin you without a single proof.

“People of all kinds can say anything about you. It's difficult to defend against, isn't it? & # 39;

A number of former colleagues came out to defend Leslie at his trial.

Fern Britton, with whom he co-hosted This Morning in the 1990s, said she was "confident" the claim was not true.

Leslie was accused 12 years ago of grabbing a woman's breasts out of nowhere at a celebrity party in London's West End.

In a written statement, Britton said, “I immediately asked if it was him. He said no. I have no reason not to believe him and have supported him from then on. The allegations hit John very hard. & # 39;

She added, "I am confident that the claim does not fit the man I know in the slightest."

Andrea Turner, 60, a TV host who became the clean-up queen, appeared in person to testify before the jury. She presented Blue Peter from 1992 to 1994, all with Leslie.

She wore tartans and a white blouse and said, “I didn't have a lot of confidence at the time (when I started Blue Peter). I was very green. He welcomed me on board with open arms.

“Historically, John is someone who always had a smile on his face and was the kindest person.

“I want to say he's the guy who was raised to share his toys. When you are a television presenter, there are two types of people. You get the person who wants to throw you in and make you die on camera.

“Or you get the person who is a real buddy and that's John. If you didn't remember the question, he would come for you. We were very much a team and John is a team player. & # 39;

She added that he was "absolutely adored by every woman I knew would work with".

Ms. Turner said there were two Johns, one before the Ulrika allegations and one after. She told the court, “Before John was exactly where the party was, he was the person who gave you a bear hug.

“The worst thing he would ever do is hold you up and hug you, and since he was so tall, your feet would be off the ground.

& # 39; That was John, a very confident John. After that, I find it really sad that those who are friends with John just wrinkled this amazing person. & # 39;

She added, “He became very much the person who wanted to be with people he knew. He was constantly worried about where he was, who he was with, and nervous. It wasn't the person we all knew. & # 39;

60-year-old Diane-Louise Jordan, presenter of Songs of Praise, was the first black Blue Peter presenter in 1990. She wore an orange, white, and black plaid shirt dress and said, “I felt very much in the spotlight, very vulnerable.

It was in this environment that I met John and he is a gentleman. He was very nice to me. He is a larger than life character, always full of life within him.

“He's just a fun, beautiful person to be here. He has this extraordinary quality of deep empathy and deep friendliness. I cannot describe how supportive and loving he was. & # 39;

She added, “I'm not exactly a showbizzy guy. I don't really like the spotlight. I have a lot of colleagues whom I know and respect. Very few of them actually come into my personal life.

& # 39; John is a part of my personal life. He knows my husband well. We have a ski vacation every year. John is part of this very intimate group.

“The reason I'm here today is because I asked to be here today because it's so important to me.

"Even if it were my husband or one of my brothers, if I found them guilty, I wouldn't be standing here supporting him."

Yvette Fielding, host of Most Haunted and other ghost hunting shows, said she recommended Leslie for the Blue Peter job after seeing him audition.

She was the youngest presenter at the time she joined us in 1987 when she was 18. When she showed up on the video link, she said, “There was a special time when we were filming Blue Peter in one of the places we went abroad. We went to Zimbabwe and were gone for six weeks.

“We shared a hut in the middle of the African bush for 10 days. John was an amazing gentleman. He turned away every time I had to change.

“If it was the middle of the night and I had to go to the ladies room, I was scared to death about peeing in the bush and he would light a torch.

He averted his eyes when I had to go to the bathroom. In all the years I've known John, he's been a lovely person.

I considered him a brother to me. We've spent many, many times in nightclubs and at parties and never in the times when I knew John had seen him act disrespectful to a woman or a man. & # 39;

She added, “I've seen women come up to him and squeeze his buttocks in bars and he was the one who pounded them off.

“He just laughed and kept walking, and in fact he was popular on TV, he was a young, handsome man, he was inundated with a lot of women and I saw them throw themselves on him.

“He was a gentleman, he was always nice. He would say hello, nice to meet you, thank you very much. & # 39;

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