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Breakfast with Frost
On Sunday, 03 August 2003, Breakfast with Frost featured an interview with Jason McCue, John Leslie's Solicitor

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

Jason McCue
Said he was "extremely angry over the leakage" of information to the media

PETER SISSONS: The television presenter John Leslie was told he was leaving court without a stain on his character after charges of indecent assault against him were dropped. It was an emotional end to a ten month ordeal of trial by media.

[NEWS CLIP]

PETER SISSONS: Well the man who was by his side for most of that time was his solicitor Jason McCue, who joins me now. Jason welcome. Why did the case collapse?

JASON McCUE: Basically, the CPS stood up on the morning of the case and said that new evidence had come to light which had originated through the claimant which resulted in them making a reassessment of the case that there was no evidence to answer against John Leslie. Hence he was innocent.

PETER SISSONS: Is this the Miss X, the complainant, that John Leslie is talking of today in the Sunday Express?

JASON McCUE: Yes I think it is.

PETER SISSONS: That was the principle bulwark of the prosecution case?

JASON McCUE: Yes, there was only one lady -

PETER SISSONS: And remind us of what she was accusing him of.

JASON McCUE: She was accusing him of indecent assault, which obviously is a, is a crime that has a range of possibilities.

PETER SISSONS: And is that the same Miss X who is quoted again anonymously in the Sunday Mirror today, saying the woman at the centre of the John Leslie sex attack case vowed yesterday to drag him back into court.

The former actress said "It's not about the money, it's about justice. He says I'm a liar and I'm not." Is that true, as far as you know, that she's, Miss X is not going to give up on it?

JASON McCUE: Well I haven't got a clue. She brought, she was the main person behind the prosecution, the judge in the court said that he, he made very strong words about people who went to the press instead of through the court system, so I'd be sort of surprised. But I don't know anything about it.

PETER SISSONS: John Leslie, again in the Sunday Express, says his accuser, he guesses, was obsessed with celebrity. Do you think the police were as well?

JASON McCUE: Yes. I think this self-styled celebrity squad is something that we should be really rethinking in the criminal process. By it's very nature there's an inequality straight away.

PETER SISSONS: And John says the police, he believes, had tried to trap him during their investigation. Led him to believe they had a witness who in fact was long dead.

JASON McCUE: There's lots of bits of the evidence of the case which was put to John which apparently was against John, but when we saw the documents the case was a lot weaker and lots of holes.

PETER SISSONS: What would you say in general about the conduct of the police here?

JASON McCUE: Well, first of all I'm extremely angry over the leakage, and again the judge referred to this. It is a guideline of the police that they're not to leak the name of the people, etcetera, before they're charged.

Well in this case that's not true. Within hours of John being charged there was, you know, cameras, crews everywhere. There's been a lot of discussions from the police ...

PETER SISSONS: The judge said that John left court without a stain on his character but that's not strictly true, is it?

JASON McCUE: Sadly not. Sadly not. It should be that when the system finds you not guilty, and that's exactly what's happened to John, you should be able to walk out and that's the end of it.

PETER SISSONS: Well it's not the end of it because ever since he walked out of court the newspapers, not just the Daily Mail but the Sunday Mirror, strings of women making the same sort of allegations - he likes rough, kinky sex; we did it with a photo of loyal Abi looking down on us.

JASON McCUE: (LAUGHING)

PETER SISSONS: I'll finish there. Now what are you going to do about these stories that keep appearing?

JASON McCUE: Well a lot of them are regurgitation, actually, if you read them carefully, of the old stories that came out before John was charged, when the newspapers had ring this number if you've had an incident with John Leslie, which, you know, again was criticised in the court. What are we going to do?

Well John could go round left, right and centre suing, everyone! That's not what he's about. He's not about revenge, what he wants is to get his life back together. I think he needs a bit of time with family to think about it and then work on his career. If we need to sue someone, we will.

PETER SISSONS: And the pictures of him snorting cocaine are going to haunt him, aren't they?

JASON McCUE: Yeah, I imagine ...

PETER SISSONS: He doesn't deny those pictures? I mean they weren't fabricated, that was him in the picture doing that.

JASON McCUE: The photograph is the photograph, yes. I mean I think the problem is with that is that a great deal in that context was made of it when it's obviously something which is, which is rife within the industry.

PETER SISSONS: Is it your advice to him that he shouldn't sue? That, I mean, many, many lawyers do feel that it is a heck of gamble to take, to go into a libel action - so unpredictable.

JASON McCUE: I mean you're quite right. I mean one never knows where they'll end up and what issues will come up. I think if we need to, and when we go through and analyse all the different stories, we'll think about and if it works out right and it's in favour of John moving forward, then certainly we'll do it.

PETER SISSONS: So what does the future hold for him now? Is he going to, if he doesn't sue for defamation, all these stories that keep appearing, will he sue Granada for unfair dismissal, or whatever - I don't know.

JASON McCUE: Again, there's lots of options open to him and that indeed is one of them. Everyone's asking the question will he sue Ulrika, will he sue Channel 5, Matthew Wright. I can absolutely assure you John's not sat there drawing up the top ten hate list on who he's going to sue.

PETER SISSONS: His mother in one of the papers this morning says "I hate Ulrika", she's not speaking for John.

JASON McCUE: No. I'm sure she does and I'm sure John also is not too keen on Ulrika. But bringing it into the context of revenge, I don't think that's what John's about. John's about moving forward with his life.


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03 Aug 03 | Politics
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