Man not guilty of sexual assault on 13-year-old

By Chris Derrick in Crime

An man from Buckfastleigh has been cleared of abusing a 13-year-old girl who claimed he had groped her while treating mosquito bites on her legs.

Stephen McLeod was found not guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court after telling them that nothing had happened between him and the girl and he gave her the cream so she could treat the bites herself.

He said the allegation against him made him feel sick and told the court: ‘I’m not that sort of person.’

Jobless McLeod, 44, of Fore Street, Buckfastleigh, denied sexual assault and was found not guilty.

During the two-day trial, the girl gave evidence that McLeod touched her private parts while visiting her home in Newton Abbot, but she had only told a school friend at the time.

She said she did not summon the courage to tell her mother until they were having a Boxing Day drink together more than four years later.

She said McLeod was staying temporarily in a room next to hers when she suffered mosquito bites in the summer of 2011 and that he invited her into his room so he could apply cream to the bites, but then pulled up her dressing gown and touched her private parts.

He told the jury the allegations are completely untrue and that he had never touched the girl sexually or put cream on any mosquito bites.

He said: ‘It never happened. I never applied the cream to her. I gave her the cream so she could do it herself.

‘I definitely never asked her to lie down on my bed. That never ­happened. I haven’t done that. I’m not that sort of person. That’s nasty.’

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