A foster carer has been cleared of repeatedly sexually abusing a girl.
Royston Duffield, now 70, was found not guilty of three allegations of sexual activity with a child and five charges of assault by penetration, after a four day trial at Burnley Crown Court. The jury took 50 minutes to return its unanimous verdicts.
The defendant, then of Dunster Avenue, Oswaldtwistle, but more recently living at Whalley Road, Read, was discharged from the dock by Judge Jonathan Gibson.
Mr Duffield, a chemical tanker driver until he retired on health grounds when he was 58, has no criminal convictions. His relieved family, including his wife Pauline, an ex-teacher at the former Moorhead High School, Accrington, were in the public gallery waiting for him.
The prosecution had alleged Mr Duffield groped the girl and committed sex acts on her. The hearing was told she claimed it had happened lots of times.
Mr Duffield told the jury the girl was lying and said the incidents she complained of never happened.