LEEDS: A rape charge against Leeds United midfielder Jody Morris was dropped on Friday by the Crown Prosecution Service after new forensic evidence was discovered.
Morris was charged last November with raping a 20-year-old woman at a roadside rest stop in Leeds on Oct 6. The rape charge against his co-defendant, Kristofer Dickie, was also dropped.
“At all times the CPS has to be satisfied that there is a realistic prospect of obtaining a conviction and, whilst this could be asserted on the basis of the evidence submitted in the initial file, this is no longer the case,'' said Neil Franklin, the Chief Crown Prosecutor in West Yorkshire.
“The thorough police inquiry which began following the allegation being made and which has continued since the arrests, led to a request from West Yorkshire Police for further work by the Forensic Science Service.
“It has now completed this work and, as a result, submitted further evidence which undermines the prosecution case to the extent that there is no longer a realistic prospect of obtaining a conviction.''
Franklin said when Morris and Dickie were arrested, CPS lawyers were confident “there was a realistic prospect of conviction''. He refused to elaborate on the new evidence.
“This decision has only been made after very careful consideration and following lengthy consultation with the West Yorkshire Police and Queen's Counsel,'' Franklin said.
“The content of the prosecution case remains confidential.''
Morris moved to Leeds on a free transfer from Chelsea in July last year. He has only played 11 times this season and barely played since the allegations came to light. – AP