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A PENSIONER who was alleged to have raped and indecently assaulted a child has been found not guilty by a jury who cleared him of all the charges he faced.

George Robert Horner was accused of raping the complainant more than 20 years ago, giving her sweets and also taking her on a trip to see an airshow.

But the former shipyard worker from Maritime Road, Stockton, denied the abuse - telling police the claims were a “load of lies” and that the alleged incidents never happened.

The 66-year-old, who uses a walking stick, had pleaded not guilty to rape and two counts of indecent assault said to have been committed in the early 1990s.

The complainant, who broke down in tears as she gave evidence in Horner’s two day trial at Teesside Crown Court, had claimed the defendant promised her an engagement ring when she was older.

She also described how she screamed so loudly during the alleged rape that Horner was forced to interrupt his attack.

Barrister Katherine Dunn, mitigating on behalf of Horner, had questioned the complainant over the length of time it took her to report her allegations – police being alerted in 2012.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said she failed to tell anybody at the time as she was just a little girl and she “did not know what rape was”.

She also said that, try as she might in later years, “the words would not come out”.

The jury in the case took about an hour and-a-half to clear Horner, who was told by trial judge Mr Justice Green he was free to go. The judge also thanked for the jury for their deliberations.