Blackburn man cleared of historic sex assault charges
A PENSIONER has been cleared of 15 charges of indecent assault on a girl aged under 14.
After a six-day trial at Preston Crown Court, a jury found Terrance Saunders, of St Michael’s Close, Feniscowles, not guilty of the alleged offences yesterday.
Speaking after the verdict was announced, Mr Saunders’s wife Ann said the couple had been through ‘two-and-a-half years of hell’.
The historic allegations of 14 counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency were said to have been committed in the 1970s. Mrs Saunders said she planned to write a book about their experiences. She said: “We have had a very bad time. It has been two-and-a-half years of hell.
“It has been one hell of a nightmare. I will write a book about it.
“I am going to settle down and come to terms with normal life first though, because we have had the most miserable experience.”
Mr Saunders, 70, said he was too upset about what he had been through to speak.
Former Scapa Dryer’s employee Mr Saunders, who has been married for more than 50 years, told the court in an earlier hearing that the allegations had been made last year because the victim and her partner wanted financial help from him.
Speaking at the end of the trial, Judge Heather Lloyd, said: “He (Mr Saunders) said that her husband scammed to get money, and that the allegations were all lies and total rubbish.
“He said that he was devastated to receive the letters from the police and thought that the couple had been in financial difficulties for several years and had expressed her need for money.”