Saturday 10 December 2016

Former TV and radio presenter John Leslie calls for anonymity for those accused of sexual offences until they are charged or convicted

Published 16/02/2016 | 14:04

Former television host and radio presenter John Leslie. Tim Ireland/PA Wire
Former television host and radio presenter John Leslie. Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Former TV and radio presenter John Leslie has called for anonymity for those accused of sexual offences until they are charged or convicted.

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Leslie said he was told last week that he would not face charges following an allegation of sexual assault made in November.

The former Blue Peter, This Morning and Wheel Of Fortune presenter was questioned in connection with an alleged sexual assault on a 22-year-old woman in Edinburgh last year.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, he said: "I think the best way forward is to have a little change that would mean a lot, and you have the right to remain anonymous, the same kind of law for when the accuser goes to the police.

"The accuser has to be believed, the accuser has to have anonymity and I think the same basic rights should be afforded to the accused.

"It's gone too far the other way now and there's too many guys, their lives being destroyed on the back of false allegations, and I think a little change would make a big difference now."

When the investigation began in November, Leslie was suspended from his job on Radio Forth, which is owned and operated by Bauer radio.

He said the media interest had led to "three months of a world of pain".

Speaking about the damage to his career, the former DJ said: "Their (Bauer) official line at the moment is that they are waiting to have the police investigation officially dropped - which it was, yesterday ... I think to be honest the damage has been done, I can't see them giving me my job back.

"I mean obviously I would love it, but I just don't think they would be in a position to do that even though I'm a totally innocent person."

He told presenters Kate Garraway and Charlotte Hawkins: "The biggest effect was of course the damage it was doing to my mum and dad. It was awful and I lost my mum for a while, she was in such a state, so yeah, just amazing to get the news so quickly.

"Last Thursday I got the phone call and I went straight round to mum and dad's and said 'Look, it's over' and the relief was amazing."

Leslie said he and his family had not celebrated Christmas at the end of last year.

He said: "I'm looking forward to having Christmas with mum and dad now because we didn't have a Christmas. It was postponed, so it's Christmas turkey and we'll open the presents."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Police in Edinburgh are continuing to investigate the circumstances following a report of a sexual assault of a 22-year-old woman, which took place between Thursday November 19 and Friday November 20 in Edinburgh."

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