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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July, 2003, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
The trauma of being falsely accused
John Leslie
All charges against John Leslie were dropped
Famous or not, unfounded sex crime allegations have a devastating effect on the image, reputation, and often career, of the accused.

A spate of high profile sex allegation cases recently prompted the Commons home affairs committee to say the names of those accused should not be revealed until charges are laid.

On Thursday, Lord Woolf said MPs should examine whether people accused of sexual offences should be given the same anonymity as the alleged victims.

Celebrities who have been named and subsequently cleared of sex crimes are among the most ardent campaigners for anonymity.

Neil and Christine Hamilton:

The Hamiltons have been particularly vocal on the anonymity issue since they were arrested and questioned over the false sexual assault claims of Nadine Milroy-Sloan, in August 2001.

The Mail on Sunday devoted five pages to details of the woman's claims. Charges were never brought.

Former MP Neil Hamilton promised he would "leave no stone unturned" in his quest to discourage an "epidemic" of false sex offence allegations.

The alleged "victim" Milroy-Sloan waived her anonymity in an interview with the News of the World.

Last month she was jailed for three years for perverting the course of justice.

Matthew Kelly:

Mr Kelly was questioned as part of an investigation into child sex abuse.

Matthew Kelly
Matthew Kelly said media coverage increased his distress

He described the month spent under suspicion as "anxious and upsetting", particularly because of press coverage at the time of his arrest in January this year.

Following questioning, and searches of his homes in London and Sri Lanka, Surrey Police confirmed they would take no action, clearing Mr Kelly's name.

During his ordeal he received widespread support from colleagues and fans.

In May Granada announced Mr Kelly would be returning to ITV1's prime-time Saturday show Stars In Their Eyes to host three celebrity editions.

Quinten Hann:

The Australian snooker star was acquitted of raping a woman in a hotel room following a nine-day hearing at the Old Bailey.

Quinten Hann
Quinten Hann was cleared after a nine-day trial
Mr Hann, ranked 14th in the world and known in snooker circles as the Wizard from Oz, insisted throughout the trial that the woman had made a play for him.

Afterwards, his lawyer said the fact the snooker player did not benefit from the anonymity afforded to the complainant meant "the victim was and remains Quinten Hann".

Craig Charles:

The actor's ex-girlfriend filed a charge of rape against him in 1994. He was arrested, imprisoned and denied bail.

In October that year, after being attacked by a fellow inmate wielding a homemade knife, Mr Charles was released on bail.

He was cleared following a two-week trial in February 1995.

Afterwards, he made an emotional appeal to the press for the anonymity of those accused of rape.




SEE ALSO:
Leslie sex charges dropped
31 Jul 03  |  UK
Anonymity issue should be debated
31 Jul 03  |  Politics
Kelly's fight back to fame
24 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
Snooker player cleared of rape
02 Jul 02  |  England


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