FORMER UK SOAPSTER DECLARED A FREE MAN – Fleet Street rats pull at straws after fact, Actor flirted via text not long past initial accusation – So?

Since Friday, a British actor has probably been heaving many sighs of relief – Ben Freeman in a court of Barbados law with a jury of nine – five men and four women – acquitted the 28 year old of having unlawful sex with a legal minor in 2006.

Bajan Reporter is amazed yet impressed the young actor managed to keep his composure when he learned his legal status matched his surname –

He could have faced life in jail if convicted of the charge.

The jury took just 90 minutes to reach a verdict.

With his family and girlfriend – as well as the alleged victim, now 17 – watching on, Freeman stood in the dock looking straight ahead as the foreman of the jury gave their verdict.

Freeman stood unmoved apart from a slight bow of the head, while tears and screams of joy instantly broke out from his family’s section to his left.

Friend and fellow actor Glenn Lamont took to his feet to shout ‘yes‘ and Freeman’s brother Sam grabbed his shoulder in celebration.

Once the entourage were dismissed by the Barbados Court, the Daily Mail says celebrations understandably were more vehement, especially when you realise what was at stake –

Outside Freeman emotionally hugged his dad Paul, followed by his girlfriend before going round the whole group, with smiles and tears all round.

Inside the court room, the complainant showed no initial reaction to the verdict but broke into tears the moment Freeman walked out.

In a statement, the star said: ‘I’m grateful to be vindicated by the jury’s verdict and am looking forward to spending time with my family and close friends who have been enormously supportive to me over the past two years.’

The girl, a student from Cheshire, will now remain anonymous while Freeman’s name will forever be associated with the trial.

The ex-Emmerdale mechanic had a pit-bull of an attorney who is not unfamiliar with landmark cases nor is she any stranger to the limelight – according to the online edition of the Nation, it appears Freeman’s parents went all out to ensure he had not only an appropriate defender, but a highly qualified barrister of Caribbean-descent as well –

…Queen’s Counsel Anesta Weekes’ name is in history books as counsel in the 1993 racially-motivated case of murdered Black British teenager Stephen Lawrence.

And while she was instrumental in saving two Jamaican killers from death row with her arguments before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, her appearance before an English Commission of Enquiry that led to a change of British policy was most memorable, she said. {Photo courtesy;}

Most of the mainstream media ignored the trial for the most part, except for the Nation – but if you did a check with a Barbadian version of “Joe The Plumber” … um, “Cuthbert The Coconut Vendor“? Then you might be surprised to learn that most feel the parents’ of the alleged rape-victim had “pimped” her into this situation perhaps hoping she would earn a good piece of change in hush-money! At least, that’s what the typical Bajan on the block seems to think…

Some folk at The Trident, one of the top online discussion forums of Barbados, think he should learn from this and at least grab a condom before he hits on the first thing he meets in one night, um? Yeah, right! Ask any man if he’s halfway honest as to if he’s not performed what he may secretly view as a 1 day conquest; then ask how many of such occasions was a sheepskin or vulcanised rubber available for when his iron was hot? Even if the dude is straightfwd, you may not want 2 know the reply… Truly!

As I stated before, rape is a very ticklish Court matter, and depending on the circumstances, can be judged long before any jury decides – as in the case of Jippy Doyle – there were many folks in Bim who felt the 20 year old female who was 13 at the time of the incident was telling the truth based on certain other situations in that same matter. Whereas for Almond Beach in 2006, since it was purely foreigners, many of the local Press couldn’t be bored to handle what was an external matter on an internal setting.

What I find sad is now some UK vultures are still trying to flog a dead horse by exhuming past text messages & e-mails from the guy, don’t take my word for it here’s the Brit version of People with their so-called “dirt” (I feel they just dirty themselves, IMHO) –

Cleared Emmerdale star Ben Freeman sent a flirty message to a stunning lingerie model just eight days after being accused of rape.

Ben, 28 – who walked free from court on Friday – replied to Gem Benedict after meeting her on a Barbados beach.

He emailed to her internet MySpace account… A source close to Ben said: “He thought Gem was leading him on and responded to her messages just to be polite. It was purely platonic.

Ben, of Leeds, flew home yesterday after being cleared. He hit out at the law that lets his accuser remain anonymous and added: “I was living a nightmare and now at last it’s over.

Ben, who was written out of ITV’s Emmerdale after being accused, will have talks with the soap’s bosses about returning to his role as womanising Scott Windsor.

A spokesman for the show confirmed: “We will be happy to meet with him.

Now Freeman’s cleared, why shouldn’t the girl be named? He still has the stigma of being ACCUSED of rape and a MINOR at that, no less!

As for Ben returning to the show, after ITV wasted no time in booting him – I believe he should tell them to put it where the sun don’t shine! In fact, I feel he should SUE both ITV and the parents of the teen for loss of income on false pretenses!

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