Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Whittle cleared of driving charge

Strictly Come Dancing star Ricky Whittle outside court after he was cleared of deliberately knocking down a photographer

Strictly Come Dancing's Ricky Whittle has been cleared of deliberately knocking down a photographer.

The ex-Hollyoaks actor, who came second in the BBC dance show last year, walked free from court after being acquitted of dangerous driving.

He was accused of deliberately driving his American Dodge pick-up truck at freelance photographer Stephen Farrell in the early hours of November 27.

It was claimed the former model acted out of "irritation" at the snapper trying to get pictures of him with former lover, Hollyoaks actress Carley Stenson.

But a jury at Liverpool Crown Court decided the star did not intentionally turn his wheel to knock Mr Farrell down, after an hour of deliberation.

Hearing the verdicts, Mr Whittle smiled and cleared his throat. Leaving the dock he gave the female dock officer a kiss goodbye.

Hollyoaks actress, Carley Stenson who is Mr Whittle's ex-girlfriend, gasped "Yes," as he was cleared and began to cry.

Outside court Whittle said he was pleased with the decision. "It's been a tough time for me this week," he said before thanking his lawyers, the jury and the police who he said acted very fairly in their investigation.

"I want to thank the people of Liverpool and the Mersey because they really have supported me on the way in and the way out from the courts. It's been really touching. I have had so much support and messages and I just really want to thank them."

Asked if the case would damage his relationship with the media and photographers, he said: "I have never had a problem with the press before and I won't in the future."

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