Cornwall man cleared of sex assaults on girls

A man who spent more than two-and-a-half years in prison for an alleged series of sex attacks has been cleared.

Christian Beare, 37, of Wadebridge, Cornwall was jailed for five years in 2008 after he was convicted of a number of indecent assaults.

The Court of Appeal in London was told that after the trial further witnesses suggested the teenage girls had invented their evidence.

Judges ruled the verdicts "unsafe" and overturned all the convictions.

In the original trial at Truro Crown Court, two teenage girls alleged that Mr Beare had indecently assaulted them.

He denied the allegations but a jury found him guilty on five counts.

Lord Justice Elias at the Appeal Court said that one of the new witnesses testified that one of the girls had denied the allegations at the time, saying: "They were just something that has been said and has gone too far."

Another new witness made a similar statement.

Lord Justice Elias, sitting with two other judges, told the Appeal Court that Mr Beare's legal team could not have been aware of these witnesses before the trial.

"We are satisfied that the evidence is capable of belief and, if it were to be accepted by the jury, could potentially be important evidence which could undermine the verdicts they reached," he said.

"This does not mean that we are reaching any conclusion at all that either of these complainants have given false testimony, nor that these allegations did not take place."

The judges did not order a retrial of Mr Beare who was freed on parole several weeks ago.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites