Abuse-accused driving instructor trial jury dismissed

Keith Warner Image copyright Josh Payne/PA
Image caption Keith Warner has been acquitted of two sex assault charges but the jury failed to reach a verdict on nine other counts

A jury in the trial of a driving instructor accused of kissing and groping five young women during lessons has been discharged.

Keith Warner, 61, from Lincolnshire, was cleared of two sex assault charges relating to two of his students.

But the Lincoln Crown Court jury failed to reach a verdict on nine other charges of the same, which dated between January 2015 and April 2017.

Mr Warner, of Outgate, Leverton, near Boston, denied all the allegations.

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One of the charges he was acquitted of dated back to 2016 and related to an allegation of Mr Warner hugging and kissing a pupil when he visited her at her home to help her with her driving theory examination.

The second charge referred to a claim of him kissing another one of his pupils between 16 February 2017 and 25 April 2017.

During the trial, the prosecution claimed Mr Warner had sent inappropriate messages to some of his students and kissed one learner driver on the arm.

He did not give evidence during the six-day trial, but his wife Gillian Warner told the jury that he was a "tactile man".

The instructor told police in a series of interviews he did not inappropriately touch any of the students, despite admitting he had flirted with students. But he said he had no sexual intentions towards any of them.

Mr Warner, who ran a driving school in the Boston area for 10 years, voluntarily surrendered his driving instructor's licence to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the court heard.

The prosecution is expected to return to the court on Friday after making a decision on whether to apply for a retrial.

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