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School worker is not guilty
6:00pm Saturday 7th April 2012 in Corsham
A former reform school worker has walked free from court after being cleared of sexually abusing two girls.
Martin Smart, of Lypiatt Road, Corsham, stood trial on the allegations for a second time after a jury failed to reach verdicts on the charges in December last year.
But a panel of eight women and four men found him not guilty of the three allegations following a trial at Swindon Crown Court. Smart, 46, whose wife was involved in fostering children, was alleged to have abused the girls a decade apart.
The police became involved in late 2010 when one of the complainants contacted them to say he had molested her a few years earlier when she was 14 or 15 years old.
She said he had got her to touch him indecently and then offered her £10 a week if she would continue to do it.
The second girl, now in her twenties, then came forward and said Smart had got her to perform a sex act on him in the 1990s when she was just ten years old.
Smart denied all of the allegations, which had no connection with his work and, following the retrial, was cleared by a jury. At the first trial, he was found not guilty of a fourth charge of having sex with one of the girls, which she said happened when she was five years old.
The defendant was working at Warleigh Manor, a now closed special school for boys in Bathford, at the time of the earlier allegations and later found work on the highways.
Smart denied three counts of indecency with a child and was cleared by a jury.