Defendant cleared of four charges in 'sex predator' trial
A JURY has returned its first verdicts against a man accused of being a "sexual predator".
Brian Sturley has been found not guilty of four offences of which he was originally charged.
It is alleged Sturley has sexually abused seven different victims since the 1980s.
But he denies all 26 charges he faces, saying the complainants have made their testimonies up.
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Judge Christopher Vosper, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, had ordered the jury to return not guilty verdicts on one charge of indecent assault with a child alleged to have happened between August 1983 and August 1984 and another of indecent assault which was said to have happened between August 1988 and 1989.
Both of those were alleged to have taken place against the same victim.
The jury then returned two verdicts of not guilty on two charges relating to another victim. They found Sturley, 56, not guilty of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity between September 2007 and September 2008 and another charge of causing or inciting the same child to engage in sexual activity.
From Monday the jury will be made up of 11 people as one of the jurors was discharged as he has existing holiday plans.
The 10 women and one man will then continue their deliberations on the remaining 22 counts.
Sturley of Robert Street, Manselton, is facing counts including rape, indecent assault, indecency with a child, assault by penetration and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, on seven alleged victims.
The prosecution allege he has been a "sexual predator".
At the opening of the trial prosecuting barrister James Jenkins told the jury he had "an extraordinary career" in abusing his victims. Mr Jenkins claimed Sturley moved from one victim to the next.
During his defence case Sturley told the jury: "I think they're all lying. It's all lies what has been said here. It never happened. None of it."
He told the jury he thought some of his victims had made up the allegations, in the hope of receiving compensation.
He also said he could have not have committed sexual offences after this time because of a side-effect caused by a stroke.
Sturley told the court that immediately after the stroke he could not stand unaided. He said he needed to crawl up stairs on his hands and knees so he did not fall, and said he continued to walk with a stick today. When his barrister took him through each of the individual allegations made by the victims, Sturley replied "no" to each.
The trial continues.