January 26 2015 Latest news:
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Former world speedway champion Michael Lee has been cleared of sexually assaulting a woman by putting his hand up her dress at an end of season speedway presentation evening.
Lee, 54, has denied two offences of sexually assaulting the woman during the event in November 2011 but the jury in his trial at Ipswich Crown Court has only reached a verdict on one of the charges so far.
Lee, of Worlington, near Mildenhall, has also denied charges of rape and assault causing actual bodily harm in relation to another woman in December 2012 and the jury has still to reach verdicts on these charges.
During Lee’s trial the court has heard that the alleged victim of the two sexual assaults had attended the end of season presentation evening with her partner.
Giving evidence she said she initially thought her boyfriend had touched her between the legs but when she turned round she claimed she saw Lee standing behind her “grinning and laughing”.
She said she had been wearing a dark blue dress over black leggings and felt Lee touch her over her leggings.
The woman told her boyfriend what had allegedly happened and they decided to leave.
She claimed that as she was walking behind her partner holding his hand Lee had come up behind her and allegedly put his hand up her dress again. She claimed she heard him say “nice thighs”.
Charles Myatt, prosecuting, alleged that in December 2012 Lee pushed a woman over in a toilet and tried to put a black bin bag over her head before allegedly raping her.
After his arrest in February last year Lee denied sexually assaulting the woman at the presentation evening and described the allegations of rape and assault in relation to the other woman as “pure fabrication”.
Mr Myatt told the court that Lee had been a “highly successful” speedway rider in the 1980s and had been world champion.
The jury will return to court tomorrow to continue its deliberations on the three remaining charges.