Nayland pensioner cleared of child sex offences after claiming girls were lying

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

A 74-year-old Suffolk man has been cleared of seven child sex offences by a jury which failed to reach verdicts on seven other charges.

Thomas Gibbons, who was in his 60s at the time of the alleged offences, may now face a retrial on the seven remaining charges.

During Gibbons’ trial at Ipswich Crown Court, it was alleged he sexually assaulted two schoolgirls.

One of the girl’s claimed she had been on holiday in Suffolk when Gibbons took her to a secluded caravan and sexually assaulted her.

The girl had never had any sex education at school and at the time thought that what Gibbons was doing to her was normal, said Nicola May, prosecuting.

Gibbons, of Bures Road, Nayland, denied three offences of assault of a child under 13 by penetration and three offences of sexual assault of a child under 13 in relation to one girl and the jury was discharged after failing to reach verdicts on these charges.

He also denied eight offences of sexual assault of a child under 13 in relation to a second schoolgirl and was cleared of seven of the offences and the jury failed to reach a verdict on the remaining charge.

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The offences are alleged to have taken place between 2005 and 2012.

Miss May alleged that Gibbons had behaved appropriately towards the second alleged victim by “snogging” her and touching her chest and groin under her clothing.

Gibbons denied the allegations and accused the girls of lying.