A jury has taken less than 45 minutes to clear a former Britain’s Got Talent finalist of child cruelty after a 15-year-old boy got so drunk at his home that an ambulance had to be called.
Leeroy Bailey, a member of the Britain’s Got Talent 2007 finalists Kombat Breakers dance troupe, had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the charge.
It was alleged that Bailey (35) of Hera Close, Foleshill, Coventry, having responsibility for the boy, had exposed him in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health.
The dance teacher and choreographer was accused of pouring the youngster, who he had first met six years earlier after being asked for his autograph following his TV appearances, two shot glasses of vodka and a glass of Skol lager.
But giving evidence, Bailey flatly denied giving the boy any alcohol, and said he must have helped himself when he went to the kitchen to get himself something to drink.
And at the end of the three-day trial the jury found him not guilty just 47 minutes after retiring to consider the case, having sent a note a few minutes earlier to indicate they had reached their unanimous verdict.
After leaving court, sobbing with relief, Bailey said he did not want to talk about the case, adding: “I’m sorry, I just want to get home to my family.”
Prosecutor Jonathan Eley had said: “The allegation is that [the boy], who was 15 at the time, attended the defendant’s home at about half past 10 in the evening to play on the Play Station or watch a film.
“During the course of that evening alcohol was supplied, the Crown say, by this defendant. Being 15 and not used to drinking, he had a reaction to this. He vomited and vomited that much that Mr Bailey was asked for an ambulance.”
When paramedics arrived, they found the teenager in his boxer shorts, having taken off his tracksuit because he did not want to get vomit on it, still being sick in the bathroom.
He was taken to hospital where he was found to be intoxicated, and was kept in overnight for observation, to ensure there were no complications, and for him to sober up.
The boy, whose mother told the court there was no alcohol in her home and that had had not been drinking before leaving to go to Bailey’s, said Bailey had offered him vodka and encouraged him to drink it.
Giving evidence via a video link from a room elsewhere in the court building, he said Bailey had poured him two shot glasses of vodka, which he described as ‘horrible and nasty,’ and half a can of Skol.
Questioned by Delroy Henry, defending, he agreed he had asked Bailey for a drink, but said he could not remember whether he had been told to help himself.
Asked whether he had poured himself some vodka from a bottle in the kitchen, he at first said he could not remember.
Mr Henry put to him: “Leeroy didn’t pour you any alcohol, did he? That was something you did, is that right?” And the boy replied: “Yeah, I think so.”
But questioned again by Mr Eley, the teenager said: “The first one Leeroy did pour for me. I poured myself the second one. I’m not sure how many I had.”
Bailey, in his evidence, said that while they had been watching television, the boy had gone into the kitchen ‘two, three or maybe four times’ to get himself something to drink.
But he said he did not notice at the time what sort of drink the teenager, who usually had a soft drink, was taking.
Bailey said he decided to go to bed, leaving his visitor in the living room, and was dozing off 30 or 40 minutes later when the 15-year-old called to him that he was feeling sick.
So he had got a bucket for the boy to vomit into before the teenager, moved to the bathroom where he continued to be sick.
He said the boy was shivering and continued retching, so he looked up alcohol poisoning online, explaining he had been ‘speculating’ on what the problem might be.
But he flatly denied he had given the boy any alcohol that night or on any previous occasions.
He said that earlier in the evening he had had two vodka and Cokes, after which there had been about half a bottle of vodka left in the fridge – but when he saw the bottle later next to the sink, it was only about a quarter full.