North East Wales

Roger Griffiths cleared of historical sex abuse charges

Roger Griffiths leaving Mold Crown Court
Image caption Roger Griffiths has been cleared of all charges

One of seven men on trial for historical child sex offences has been cleared of all charges against him.

Former teacher, Roger Griffiths, 76, from Wrexham, was accused of two counts of indecent assault.

He was cleared by a jury at Mold Crown Court of one charge on Thursday and the panel returned another not guilty verdict on Friday.

Gary Cooke, 64, and two others have been convicted of several offences.

The men had been arrested as part of the National Crime Agency led Operation Pallial inquiry into historical abuse in north Wales.

Mr Griffiths, also a former children's home owner, told the trial that he had never met his complainant and accused him of lying in order to claim compensation.

When the second not guilty verdict was returned, he put his head in his hands and shook with relief.

The judge then ordered Mr Griffiths to be released from the court.

Image caption Verdicts are outstanding on three men - Keith Stokes, George Phoenix and Edward Huxley

Former wrestler Cooke was convicted of 16 charges on Thursday after the trial heard how young victims were passed around sex parties at his home in the Wrexham area in the 1980s.

David Lightfoot, 72, and former local radio presenter Roy Norry, 55, were also convicted of a string of offences by the jury on Thursday.

A further nine verdicts remain outstanding against another three men - Keith Stokes, 62, George Phoenix, 63, and 70-year-old Edward Huxley.

The jury has now retired for the day and will resume deliberations on Monday.

Verdicts so far

  • Former wrestler Gary Cooke, 64, of Leicester, guilty of 11 charges of indecent assault, three serious sexual assaults, and two charges of indecency with a child
  • Ex-bar owner David Lightfoot, 72, of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, guilty of six charges of indecent assault on a male, two serious sexual assaults and an attempted serious sexual assault. He was cleared of one charge of indecency with a child
  • Former radio DJ Roy Norry, 55, from Connah's Quay, was found guilty of five indecent assaults on a male and one serious sexual assault. He was cleared of attempted serious sexual assault and indecent assault
  • Roger Griffiths, 76, of Wrexham, has been found not guilty of two charges of indecent assault. He has been released from the court
  • Keith Stokes, 62, from Farndon, Chester, has also been found not guilty on one charge of indecency with a child - but several other charges are still being considered
  • George Phoenix, 63, of Wrexham, is charged with one indecent assault - verdict still being considered
  • Edward Huxley, 70, of Cookham, Berkshire, is charged with two counts of indecent assault - verdicts still being considered

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