FORMER rugby league star Graham Holroyd has walked free from court this lunchtime after a jury cleared him on charges of sexual abuse dating back more than 20 years.
The 38-year-old, former Leeds, Halifax and Huddersfield, player was found not guilty on five allegations of indecent assault and one of rape in less than an hour.
The jury of eight men and four women retired at around 11.10am this morning, but they were back in court by noon to return their unanimous not guilty verdicts.
Earlier this week Holroyd told the jury how he felt ‘’total shock’’ when police officers arrived at his home to quiz him about the sex abuse allegations.
He said he thought it might have been “a wind up” because he had absolutely no idea about the claims being made against him.
During questioning by his barrister Simeon Evans Holroyd, who lives in Manchester, insisted that he had never sexually abused either of the complainants.
A woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had claimed that Holroyd had raped her from the age of seven, but Mr Evans suggested that she had been jumping on the bandwagon of other allegations made by a male complainant.
The male complainant, who also cannot be identified, contacted the police after he had disclosed the allegations of abuse during a counselling session.
Both complainants made their allegations to the police in January last year, but during questioning from Mr Evans the woman denied that the claims were motivated by hopes of receiving compensation.
All the offences were alleged to have been committed in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Holroyd himself was aged between 11 and 15.
Following the verdicts the Recorder of Bradford Judge Roger Thomas QC told Holroyd he could leave the dock area.
Mr Evans applied for a defendant’s costs order to cover Holroyd’s travel expenses during the trial and Judge Thomas agreed that he should receive a figure of £200.