Bury St Edmunds: Man Denies Sex Offences

A man from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk has denied sex abuse against a child.

Richard Alston, 69, of Vinery Road, pleaded not guilty at London's Southwark Crown Court to 10 counts of sex abuse against a child dating from January 1977 to February 1980.

The charges include six counts of indecent assault on a male and four counts of indecency with a child.

His trial, expected to last 10 days, was set for the same court on August 17 2015, with a pre-trial hearing to be held on July 20.

He was released on conditional bail.

Alston appeared as the co-defendant of the half-brother of a senior Conservative MP who has been found not guilty of a historic sex abuse charge.

Charles Napier, 67, who is related to Maldon MP John Whittingdale, pleaded not guilty to inciting a boy under the age of 14 to commit an act of gross indecency with another. The allegation dates back to between February 1978 and February 1979.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC then ordered that he be found not guilty of the charge after being told there was no evidence to support it.

Prosecutor Peter Clement told the court: ``The evidence against him is very narrow compass and lacks the necessary precision and certainty upon which a jury can safely rely and act.''

He said the investigations in to the allegation against Napier were met with responses such as ``possibly'' and ``not sure''.

Napier, of Newland in Sherborne, remains on conditional bail with regard to further allegations. These are to be dealt with at the same venue on November 18.

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