Cleared of abuse

A TOPSHAM war veteran who has faced a year long ordeal accused of child rape and sex abuse has been cleared after no evidence was offered against him, writes Richard Harrison.

A TOPSHAM war veteran who has faced a year long ordeal accused of child rape and sex abuse has been cleared after no evidence was offered against him, writes Richard Harrison.

At Exeter Crown Court, 78-year-old George Humphreys, a man of unblemished character, was found not guilty on one charge of child rape and five charges of sexual touching.

It was claimed that Mr Humphreys committed the offences when the girl was aged between 10 and 11.

Mr Humphreys had always fervently denied the allegations made against him and said they were pure fabrication.


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Prosecutor Martin Kenny said he had felt 'some unease' about the case and since the last hearing there had been discussions between the Crown Prosecution Service, the officer in the case and other relevant parties.

"It has been concluded that there is no longer any reasonable prospect of success," said Mr Kenny.

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The prosecutor also admitted to the court that the alleged victim had a 'propensity for fabrication.'

At an earlier hearing it had been disclosed that the girl had made similar allegations against a babysitter who looked after her when she was in South Africa. Those matters had been investigated by the family and the allegations were unfounded.

Mr Humphreys, of Coles Court, High Street, Topsham, was not in court to hear the case against him had been dropped, but he will be informed by his solicitors.

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