Clergyman cleared of 'sexually touching' boys' feet
A clergyman who worked at a Cumbrian school has been cleared of “sexually touching” the feet of two boys.
The Reverend Christopher Griffin, 57, was on trial at Carlisle Crown Court where he denied six sexual assault allegations – four involving one boy and two relating to another.
But a jury yesterday took about an hour to return not guilty verdicts on five of the charges.
They had earlier been directed by the judge in the case to return a not guilty verdict on the other.
Both boys in the case were between 16 and 17 at the time of the alleged offences.
The court heard the boys involved reported that the defendant had stroked their legs and feet as they pretended to be asleep.
But in police interviews Rev Griffin said he was in the habit of pushing duvets back on to the beds as they regularly fell off.
“I think this is what we're talking about,” he said. "I didn't do these things."
Rev Griffin, now of Ingleton, North Yorkshire, said he replaced duvets because he did not want the boys to be cold.