Celebrity DJ cleared of sex abuse charges
TOP British DJ Neil Fox has been cleared of sexually and indecently assaulting young fans and colleagues.
Mr Fox (54) broke down in tears as the verdicts were delivered at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
Mr Fox thanked his legal team, who he said had done "a first-class job" and worked with "integrity, honesty and some much-needed humour at times as well".
He added: "Thank you as well to my friends and all my past work colleagues who have stuck by me and lifted me up when I was falling down.
"Thanks to the amazing support as well that I've had from listeners and the wider public, who have been so very kind during this period.
"I cannot wait to be broadcasting again and to resume that relationship that we have built over the last 30 years.
"Finally, to my family, and especially my incredible wife Vicky, I cannot begin to tell you how much I love you and how much I thank you for simply being there and holding my hand through this long and arduous journey.
"It has been tough at times, you have shown me how to look for the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the gain and the pain, and find out what makes us grateful, not hateful."
Mr Fox was mobbed by photographers as he shared a kiss with his wife in emotional scenes following the statement.
Reading the verdicts during a four-minute hearing, chief magistrate Howard Riddle said the alleged victims were believable but that the bench "could not be sure that in the context it was a criminal offence".
The former 'Pop Idol' judge faced a string of indecent assault and sexual assault charges in relation to alleged offences that dated back to the 1980s, against women and girls as young as 14.
Mr Fox had been suspended from his job at radio station Magic FM following his arrest, five minutes after he came off air in September last year.
His wife, Vicky, who sat with her eyes closed before the verdicts were returned, celebrated silently with her husband's supporters in the public gallery following the conclusion of the case.
Mr Riddle said: "We heard evidence about 10 allegations from six women. We believed each of the complainants. The question we must ask is whether we are sure of the facts alleged, sure of the context in which they occurred, and sure that they amount to criminal offences."
He said the most difficult aspect of the case was that the allegations were historic.
They were said to have occurred at intervals over a quarter of a century up to the late 1980s.
He said: "While the events were undoubtedly memorable for the complainants, it is appropriate . . . to approach accounts of what happened in a brief period of time, so long ago, with caution."
He added: "It was a strong case and one that needed to be brought to the court for determination.
"The verdict is not guilty on all charges."
Mr Fox thanked members of court staff as he left the building.