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Man cleared of sex assaults
3:00pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
A TATTOO artist has been cleared of two charges of sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
Jamie Gardiner, of Colwell Road, Berinsfield, denied two counts of indecent assault during a week-long trial at Oxford Crown Court.
Yesterday the father-of-two smiled as he was found not guilty by a jury after eight hours of deliberations.
The 31-year-old was alleged to have targeted the same girl, who cannot be identified, between December 2011 and April 2012.
Justine Davidge, prosecuting, also claimed that he forced the girl to take at least six diazepam tablets to make her “less able to resist his advances”.
Gardiner has admitted possessing the Class C drug but denied giving it to the teenage complainant.
In addition to the indecent assaults he was charged with one count of administering a noxious or poisonous substance with intent.
But yesterday the jury was discharged after failing to come to a verdict on this charge.
The Crown Prosecution Service now has seven days to decide if it wants to hold a retrial, or if it will formally offer no evidence to the charge.
Miss Davidge told Judge Patrick Eccles that no decision had yet been reached about whether to try the case again.
Gardiner maintained throughout the trial that he had never inappropriately touched the complainant and that the allegations were false.
Judge Eccles told him that a hearing would be listed within seven days where either the case would be dropped or a new trial date would be set.
He told Gardiner that if he did not attend on the date of the new trial he may be tried in his absence.
Gardiner was released on conditional bail.