July 31 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Former world speedway champion Michael Lee has spoken of his relief after a jury cleared him of raping a woman and sexually assaulting another.
An emotional Michael Lee, who has always denied the allegations, described the time since his arrest as “the longest 16 months of my life” and said he felt exhausted by the court case and the build-up to it.
“I’m a bit emotional and relieved that the justice system came to a fair decision,” said Lee.
Following the jury’s verdicts after a three-week trial and more than 13 hours of deliberations Lee left court and hugged his partner Julie Brookman and thanked his legal team.
Lee said he was looking forward to having a good sleep and then going to watch speedway tomorrow when Mildenhall are due to take on Cradley Heath.
“It will be nice to go and enjoy the speedway,” he added.
Lee, 54, of Worlington, near Mildenhall, denied raping a woman and assaulting her causing actual bodily harm in December 2012 and two offences of sexually assaulting another woman in 2011. He was cleared of all four charges.
It was alleged that Lee put his hand up a woman’s dress and touched her between the legs over her leggings on two occasions at an end-of-season speedway presentation evening at Worlington Hall Hotel in 2011.
It was also alleged that in December 2012 Lee pushed a woman over in a toilet and tried to put a black bin liner over her head before raping her.
After his arrest in February last year Lee denied sexually assaulting the woman at the presentation evening and said he had given her “a friendly squeeze on the bottom”.
He denied assaulting or raping the other woman and described the allegations as “pure fabrication”.
Giving evidence during the trial Lee denied the allegations.
The court heard that Lee had been a “highly successful” speedway rider in the 1980s and was a former world champion.