Former Poppies player Leon McKenzie has been jailed for six months after sending police bogus letters to avoid speeding convictions.
McKenzie, 33, was jailed at Northampton Crown Court today after admitting six charges of attempting to dodge speeding fines between February 2008 and January 2010.
Leon McKenzie released the following statement:
I prepared this statement to be able to share with you all how I am feeling and most of all to explain what happened.
A few years ago, I was not in a good place and couldn’t always make sense of what was going on. Some things being personal and some being work related. Unfortunately at that time I fell deep into depression, which led me to try and take my life.
Around that period I wasn’t thinking straight, and got caught up with the wrong people around me. My behaviour towards certain things like these speeding offences were totally unacceptable and very naive of me to allow a third party to take my points for me. I allowed someone to take my points innocently, not knowing the seriousness of what was actually happening.
My mindset at the time was confused and not like it is now. Allowing someone to take my points from me, was very stupid of me and I only wish I was in a better place back then and that I could turn back the clock.
These offences happened two years ago. I was arrested over a year ago and had been told by the police at the time of the arrest if I answered all questions, told the truth and gave them everything they needed I would be cautioned and not charged. I did all that was asked off me, and as result I was given a caution.
It was only when I was arrested when I really understood just how serious this was. I was cautioned and given a chance to start to get my life back again. Which I did and learn’t from my mistakes.
Five months after receiving the caution, I was told that the police officers that were in charge at the time had made a mistake and that I would now be facing charges. The officer in charge reversed his decision and got the caution removed. Two years on, I am left with being charged for these offences.
I broke the law six times in that two year period which I am now very aware of . I am truly sorry for these offences that I committed. I must stress to you all, I was not representing the real me back then and realise how stupid I have been. As most of you, especially the people who really know me are aware, I have been in a better place recently and I have really turned my life around.
It took a lot to speak out publicly about trying to end my life and now turning it around with helping others with issues of depression and starting a new career in music. I feel like I have given back in a lot of ways and will continue to do so as soon as I possibly can.
Anyone reading this, I hope you take note and learn by my mistakes, especially if you are in a bad place with depression,
I ask anyone with depression to speak out to someone before you start making any mistakes like I did.
I am not the Leon that I was a few years ago. I didn’t set an example and I am truly sorry for that. I believe now, I am Leon, not the Leon I was during that two year period, my only comment is that I wasn’t well at that particular time and was not thinking in a way that i am now. I allowed a third party to take points without realising the extent and impact it would cause to mine and my families lives today.
I am now leaving my wife and my beautiful four children along with some fantastic friends and family. God willing they will be okay.
Anyone that knows me, knows my heart and more importantly knows the change in me from where I was compared to where I am now. I am a fighter and looks like now I don’t have a choice but to battle on which I will do.
I would like to say a massive thanks to my family and friends for the support they have given me, especially while this has been going on for so long.
See tomorrow’s Evening Telegraph for the full story