Jury returns not proven verdict
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.