Anthea Turner shares relief as John Leslie is cleared of sexual assault charge

Anthea Turner has shared her relief at her former co-star John Leslie’s ‘not guilty’ verdict after he was accused of sexual assault.

The ex-Blue Peter star said ‘justice has prevailed’ as she shared a snap of herself with Leslie and Songs of Praise presenter Diane-Louise Jordan with the caption ‘Not Guilty!!’ after they appeared at court.

The presenters, who both worked with Leslie, 55, on Blue Peter, defended their former co-star and gave evidence on his character.

Turner wrote on Instagram: ‘John Leslie has AGAIN been given the verdict NOT GUILTY The shot was taken last week after Diane and I joined him and his Dad at Southwark Court.

‘Unbelievable relief for our amazing gentle giant of a friend but personal anger that he has had his life ripped apart over the years, however justice has today prevailed and I couldn’t be happier.’

A second shot showed Turner and Jordan leaving court together.

Leslie was cleared by a jury at Southwark Crown Court of grabbing a woman’s breasts at a Christmas party in 2008.

The verdict was delivered after 23 minutes of deliberation, with Leslie crying and nodding towards the jury.

Referring to him by his full name, John Leslie Stott, Judge Deborah Taylor said: ‘Mr Stott, you for the second time leave this court without a stain on your character and I hope it will be the last time you have to attend.’

During the week-long trial, Turner, 60, told the court: ‘I know John incredibly well and I am standing here today because I know John very well, and I would just like to mention, when he asked me to come I wanted to be here. This is very important.’ 

Jordan, 60, said she had requested to give evidence at the trial about his character ‘because I feel so strongly about this.’ 

Leslie said his life changed completely in 2002 when he was wrongly identified on live television as the unnamed alleged rapist in his former girlfriend Ulrika Jonsson’s autobiography.

Presenter Matthew Wright later apologised, saying he named him in error, the court was told. The jury heard that Jonsson has never made any complaint to police.

In 2003, two charges of indecent assault against him made by one woman were dropped, and not guilty verdicts recorded.

The court also heard he was arrested and interviewed by police in 2008 regarding an allegation of rape and indecent assault said to have happened in 1995, but there was insufficient evidence to charge and no further action was taken.

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