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Last Updated: Monday, 27 October, 2003, 15:49 GMT
Footballer cleared of drug dealing
Leon Jeanne
Leon Jeanne says he was addicted to cocaine
A soccer player who became hooked on cocaine has vowed to leave drugs behind after being cleared of conspiring to supply cocaine.

The jury in the case of former Cardiff City and QPR player Leon Jeanne returned its verdict at Cardiff Crown Court on Monday.

Speaking after the case, Mr Jeanne said he was relieved and was looking forward to going back to football. "I've finished with drugs and I will never go back," he said.

" I have already had talks with the managers at Wycombe and Hereford and I'm looking forward to getting my life back on track.

"I've been innocent from the start and you will never see me back in court again." He described the months since his arrest as "hell".

During the five-week trial, the court had been told that Mr Jeanne, 22, of Browning Close, Cardiff, "blew all his wages" on drink and drugs.

Mr Jeanne - who did not give evidence during the trial - started his career as a schoolboy at Arsenal then moved on to a YTS scheme at QPR where he turned professional at 17. The winger later joined Cardiff City.

He told detectives that he eventually signed a contract worth 1,000 a week before he was sacked.

He was arrested in September 2002 as part of Operation Arizona - an investigation into a drugs ring based in Cardiff, the court was told.

The court heard that Cardiff City paid for Mr Jeanne to attend the Priory clinic for rehabilitation.

He also said that he was 6,000 in debt.

He admitted buying cocaine from an acquaintance, telling officers that he would purchase about 1g at a time. But, he denied supplying drugs.

Two other defendants, Anton Robins, 29, of Bute Street, Cardiff, and Kelly Baines, 22, of Maindee Way, Cwmbran, were also found not guilty of the same charge.

People in the public gallery cheered as the verdicts were read out.

Kyle Ali, 24, of Bute Street, Cardiff, and Nixon Miah, 26, of Birchgrove, Cardiff, also denied conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Postman Mr Ali - a schoolfriend of Jeanne's - was cleared after nine hours and 10 minutes of deliberation.

Businessman Mr Miah was later formally cleared of the charge against him after the jury failed to reach a verdict.

Judge Roderick Denyer QC formally directed a not guilty verdict be entered.

Discharging the jury, the judge thanked the seven men and five women for their "care and attention" to the case.

Jeanne 'hurt' over leaving club
10 Oct 03  |  Wales

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