A MAN has been cleared of a string of sexual assaults against children dating back to the 1970s.

Edmond John Tudor Hillman, 57, of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, stood trial at Chichester Crown Court accused of seven counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency.

The three complainants in the case had claimed that Mr Hillman had abused them at a children’s home that his parents ran at the time in Chichester area.

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They had claimed a pocket watch was used to hypnotise them, but Mr Hillman, who was a teenager at the time he lived in Chichester, said he did not own a pocket watch.

Mr Hillman had denied all the charges against him and was found not guilty of each of the eight counts by a jury after a four day trial.