Jury re­turns not proven ver­dict

The Galloway News - - NEWS -

A busi­ness­man ac­cused of sex­ual of­fences against two young girls around 20 years ago has been ac­quit­ted by a jury af­ter a five-day trial.

Ben Ni­chol­son, who ran a fire­place show­room in Dum­fries un­til two years ago and lives at Kipp­ford, had pleaded not guilty to com­mit­ting two charges al­leg­ing in­de­cent of­fences against the two girls be­tween 1994 and 2001.

The jury of 10 women and four men at Dum­fries Sher­iff Court re­turned a not proven ver­dict.

The 56-year-old, who col­lapsed in the dock dur­ing the trial and had to re­ceive med­i­cal at­ten­tion, main­tained that the al­le­ga­tions in­volv­ing the two girls when they were at pri­mary school never took place.

He said he col­lapsed dur­ing the ev­i­dence of one be­cause he couldn’t be­lieve what he was hear­ing and said that he was dev­as­tated.

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