UK

Charles Napier acquitted of sex abuse charge

Charles Napier Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Charles Napier is on conditional bail for other historical allegations

A man has been cleared of a charge of historical sex abuse after a judge said there was no evidence to support it.

Ex-teacher Charles Napier, from Sherborne, Dorset, denied inciting a boy under the age of 14 to commit an act of gross indecency with another.

The allegation dates back to between February 1978 and February 1979.

Mr Napier, half-brother of Conservative MP John Whittingdale, remains on conditional bail with regard to further charges of historical sex abuse.

The 67-year-old is due back at Southwark Crown Court on 10 November.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC said that he should be found not guilty of this one specific charge after he was told there was no evidence to support the claim.

Mr Napier's co-defendant Richard Alston, 69, of Vinery Road in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of sex abuse against a child dating from January 1977 to February 1980, at the same hearing on Tuesday.

The charges include six counts of indecent assault on a male and four counts of indecency with a child.

His trial, which expected to last 10 days, was set for the same court on 17 August 2015, with a pre-trial hearing to be held on 20 July. He was released on conditional bail.