DJ Neil Fox cleared of sex abuse charges


Radio DJ Neil Fox shared a kiss with his wife and declared that he "cannot wait to be broadcasting again" after being cleared of all charges in his sex abuse trial.

The former Capital FM presenter - suspended from Magic FM following his arrest in September last year - broke down in tears as he was cleared of all 10 counts at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

He had been accused of eight counts of indecent assault, and two of sexual assault, dating back to the late 1980s involving young fans and colleagues.

Reading the verdicts during a four-minute hearing, chief magistrate Howard Riddle said the women who made the allegations were believable, but the bench "could not be sure that in the context it was a criminal offence".

Mr Fox, 54, choked back tears as he told of his relief at the verdicts and paid tribute to his "incredible wife Vicky" and friends "who have stuck by me and lifted me up when I was falling down".

He said: "Thanks to the amazing support as well that I've had from listeners and the wider public, who have been so very kind during this period.

"I cannot wait to be broadcasting again and to resume that relationship that we have built over the last 30 years.

"Finally, to my family and especially my incredible wife Vicky, I cannot begin to tell you how much I love you and how much I thank you for simply being there and holding my hand through this long and arduous journey.

"It has been tough at times, you have shown me how to look for the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the gain and the pain, and find out what makes us grateful, not hateful.

"Thank you very much, happy Christmas."

Speaking to reporters, he said he was "obviously pleased and relieved" at the court's verdict, and said his case "exposed concerns" about the handling of celebrity cases by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

He added: "Following my arrest over 14 months ago, I strenuously denied all of the allegations and today I have been vindicated.

"It has been a long, hard and stressful 14 months though, and a lot has been said and written about me in that time that over the next few days, weeks and months will need to be addressed and rectified.

"Now this case has also, once again, exposed concerns about how high-profile cases such as this are investigated by the police and the CPS, but this is not the time or the place to address these matters."

Those concerns were echoed by broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, himself under suspicion of historical sex abuse until the case against him was dropped last year, who told LBC Radio that Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe should resign.

Mr Fox has been suspended from Magic FM following his arrest, five minutes after he came off air in September last year.

It is unclear at the moment when or whether Mr Fox will return to broadcasting.

During the trial, Mr Fox flatly rejected allegations he had various sexual contacts with fans and colleagues.

Returning the verdict, Mr Riddle said: "We heard evidence about 10 allegations from six women. We believed each of the complainants.

"The question we must ask is whether we are sure of the facts alleged, sure of the context in which they occurred, and sure that they amount to criminal offences."

He said the most difficult aspect of the case was that the allegations were historical. They were said to have occurred at intervals over a quarter of a century, beginning in the late 1980s.

He said: "While the events were undoubtedly memorable for the complainants, it is appropriate ... to approach accounts of what happened in a brief period of time, so long ago, with caution."

He added: "It was a strong case and one that needed to be brought to the court for determination.

"The verdict is not guilty on all charges."

Mr Fox was mobbed by photographers as he shared a kiss with his wife in emotional scenes following the verdicts.