A JUDGE has ruled that a Berkhamsted man accused of grabbing a girl in an alleyway has no case to answer.
Kieron Rogers, 58, of Lower King Street in the town, was accused of attempting to take a child on March 13 last year.
But on Wednesday Judge Stephen Warner directed the jury at St Albans Crown Court to find him not guilty at the end of the prosecution case.
The 12-year-old girl told how she had hit a man with her lacrosse stick after being grabbed. She was on her way back to Berkhamsted School after a PE lesson on the playing fields when a man took hold of her.
He swung her round but she hit him with her stick and sprinted back to the school where she reported what had happened.
Isabel Delamere, for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the jury of nine women and three men: “The pitch was at the far end of the fields and she had put the equipment away in the pavilion.
“She was the last to leave and headed towards the school. A man came towards her with his head down, he was hunched over and his hands were behind his back.
“They passed and he grabbed hold of her, spun her round and shook her, saying ‘Come with me’. She hit him with a lacrosse stick and sprinted off,” said the prosecutor.
The girl, who is now 14, reported what happened to the school principal. She described the man as aged 60 to 65, with glasses.
Police arrested Kieron Rogers 18 days later at his home. When questioned at Hemel police station the 58-year-old said he lived alone and suffered from hypertension. He said he had not left the house on the day the girl was grabbed. He said he couldn’t have gone to the alleyway because of his medical condition. He denied he had grabbed the girl.
At the end of the prosecution case, Neil Mercer for Mr Rogers, argued that the identification evidence was not strong enough for the case to continue. The judge agreed and Mr Rogers was discharged.