Pensioner cleared of sexual assault allegations

PUBLISHED: 10:39 19 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:23 31 May 2010

A PENSIONER has been cleared of allegations that he committed a series of sex offences against a young girl. Vincent Boatman, 65, of Smiths Green, Debden, Saffron Walden, denied and was acquitted by a jury on Thursday of two charges of inciting a child to

A PENSIONER has been cleared of allegations that he committed a series of sex offences against a young girl.

Vincent Boatman, 65, of Smiths Green, Debden, Saffron Walden, denied and was acquitted by a jury on Thursday of two charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one offence of sexual assault.

Judge David Turner QC directed that verdicts of not guilty be entered on two other charges of sexual assault, which Boatman also denied.

Richard Burrington, prosecuting at Chelmsford Crown Court, said the charges related to alleged incidents between December 2005 and November 2006 and involved a girl aged 13.

It was claimed that on two occasions Boatman asked the girl to perform a sex act on him but each time she refused.

The sexual assault charges concerned allegations that Boatman groped the girl's breasts and, on another occasion, put his hand on her leg while giving her a lift in his car.

Mr Burrington said when Boatman was arrested and interviewed he denied any form of sexual contact with the girl and also denied making any sexual suggestions towards her.

He said he may have touched the girl accidentally when he brushed past her but nothing of a sexual nature had occurred. He described the allegations as 'rubbish'.

In evidence Boatman told the jury he worked as a clerk in Cambridge and was a man of good character.

He said it was possible his hand may have brushed against the girl's leg accidentally while he was changing gear, but he could not recall such an incident.

Boatman said when he was arrested he felt 'confused and angry' that the girl had made the allegations against him.

Boatman told the court he had declined legal advice at the police station 'because I didn't think there was any charge to answer. I didn't think I had anything to defend.

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