Exclusive: Former speedway champion speaks to Bury Free Press after being cleared of rape charge

Mark Westley Photography'Michael Lee ANL-140521-183919009
Mark Westley Photography'Michael Lee ANL-140521-183919009
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Former speedway champion Michael Lee has spoken to the Bury Free Press about his ordeal as he looks to piece his life back together after being cleared of rape.

Mr Lee was found not guilty of rape, assault and sexual assault at Ipswich Crown Court on May 16.

The previous day he had been found not guilty of a second charge of sexual assault.

Mr Lee said the 16 month ordeal had seen his name dragged through the dirt and affected him mentally and physically.

Mr Lee said: “I’m not sure how I feel. People say you must be pleased and relieved and jumping for joy but there’s nothing to jump for joy for. I did nothing wrong.

“It physically and mentally affects you in a big way. It’s grossly unfair that you get dragged through the dirt for something you have not done.”

Mr Lee, 55, of Freckenham Road, Worlington, was told he could leave the dock by Judge Robert Overy after a jury of six men and six women returned their verdicts.

During the 12-day trial he had said he believed the allegations had been aimed at ‘destroying him’.

He told the jury all claims were without foundation and the alleged rape victim was ‘emotionally disturbed’.

Speaking on Monday Mr Lee said he was now looking to piece his life back together.

Mr Lee, a co-promotor of the Mildenhall Fen Tigers speedway team, was crowned individual world speedway champion in 1980.

He said: “I went to the speedway on Sunday and started to join in.

“In a couple of weeks I hope to be back on track to do it all properly.”

Mr Lee’s promoters licence was ‘put on the shelf’ while the allegations were investigated and the trial concluded.

He said he now planned to approach the board to have it returned.

Mr Lee thanked the speedway community, his family and his legal team for the support given to him over the past months.