A BUSINESSMAN accused of indecency with a young girl, in an incident said to have taken place a decade ago, has been cleared of both charges he was facing.

Paul Seed, now 56, denied causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity and assaulting a girl under 13 by sexual touching, when he appeared at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, in November.

During the trial, this week, the court heard the girl involved made the allegation initially to a friend and then to her mother, in July 2014.

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Police were also informed and Mr Seed, who was said to be of good character, made denials in a subsequent interview when he voluntarily attended a police station. He repeated those denials during the trial.

On the third day of the hearing the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts to both counts and Mr Seed, of Goodwell Lea, Brancepeth Village, near Durham, was discharged from the court by Judge Simon Hickey.