Home Music Music News

Rock Photographer Who Shot David Bowie, Rod Stewart Convicted of Harassing Jewish Bakery

Leon Lecash was convicted of sending a deluge of emails to the owners of Rinkoff Bakery, which has been open in London’s East End since 1911

Jennifer Rinkoff of Rinkoff Bakery in 2013.

AFP via Getty Images

Leon Lecash, a photographer who shot album covers for David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Pat Benatar, and more, was convicted of harassing the owners of a Jewish bakery in London, according to The Daily Mail.

Lecash was convicted of six counts of harassment without violence for a series of emails he sent to the owners of Rinkoff Bakery, which opened in London’s East End in 1911 and is still operated by the Rinkoff family. Lecash claimed he was merely contacting the family to get information for two projects he was working on, but the judge ruled he’d ultimately operated a “campaign of revenge” against the Rinkoffs. 

Lecash did most of his photo work back in the Eighties: He snapped the photo of David Bowie for a 1987 “Never Let Me Down” picture disc single, while he also shot album covers like Benatar’s Crimes of Passion, Stewart’s Body Wishes, Jefferson Starship’s Modern Times, and Air Supply’s The One That You Love. He later pivoted to TV and film production, and the harassment case reportedly sprung out of his attempts to make a documentary, Bagels and Cyanide, and write his autobiography, John Lennon Made Me Toast.

During the case, Lecash denied he was harassing the Rinkoffs and defended his persistent emails, even when he didn’t get a response: “That’s my technique,” he said. “I don’t take no for an answer. I feel very strongly that I am totally entitled to contact as many people as I like if I’m making a documentary.” 

But prosecutors argued Lecash knew his emails would cause the Rinkoffs’ “distress.” They also shared snippets of some of the emails, like one Lecash sent to his niece — who was also named in the case — in which he called her a “total bitch.” 

Jonathan Bryan, the prosecutor in the case, said, “Abusing and insulting people is only going to produce two possible responses. One is either they tell you to stop or they go to the police which is what happened in this case.”

The Crown Prosecution Service did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment, nor did an attorney for Lecash. Lecash will be sentenced at a later date and was granted bail on the condition that he does not contact the Rinkoffs or any other complainants.

From Rolling Stone US