CHARGES have been dropped against a Sergeant in the army air corps who was accused of theft and fraud.

The development came more than three years after Brian Morris first appeared in court and after numerous hearings.

Sgt Morris was accused of conning the army out of more than £35,000 while at a North Yorkshire base.

The 47-year-of, from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, faced four charges of fraud while he was a regimental accountant for the 9 Regiment Army Air Corps, based at Dishforth near Thirsk, between 2009 and 2011.

It was also alleged he stole bar profits of £4,400 along with £4,390 worth of cash.

Prosecutors accused him of making a false record of bank transactions and payments on the air corps’ account in order to remove thousands of pounds, as well as concealing accountancy deficits which allowed him to remove £1,780 from vending machine takings.

His legal team argued during earlier hearings at Teesside Crown Court – one of which Sgt Morris had to travel from his overseas posting to attend – that the case should be dropped.

Last year, Judge Sean Morris expressed concern about the prosecution, and now lawyers have decided to offer no evidence.

The 9 Regiment Army Air Corps has fought in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

It has also provided support to the Special Forces, with the regiment's most high-profile operation in recent years seeing its soldiers involved in a daring rescue mission to recover a fallen Royal Marine at Jugroom Fort, in Helmand Province, in February 2007.

Sgt Morris, of Earsdon Road, Whitley Bay, appeared at Teesside Crown Court to hear Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, enter not guilty verdicts in his case.