Northern Ireland

Former headmaster William Lloyd-Lavery cleared of sex abuse

William Lloyd-Lavery Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption William Lloyd-Lavery was acquitted on all 13 charges

A former headmaster accused of historical sex abuse has been found not guilty.

William Lloyd-Lavery, from Richmond Avenue in Lisburn, was principal of Lurgan Technical College from 1992-97.

The 71-year-old faced 13 sex offence charges at Craigavon Crown Court, but was found not guilty on Friday.

The PPS said allegations of abuse were first reported to police in 1989 but, at that stage, the PPS decided not to prosecute Mr Lloyd-Lavery.

He had denied any wrongdoing to police.

The initial PPS decision was revised last year and charges were brought against him.

Mr Lloyd-Lavery had been accused of 13 sex offences against a male victim, including seven counts of indecent assault and one of taking an indecent photograph of a child, on dates unknown between 29 December 1980 and 1 February 1988.

The abuse was alleged to have started when the boy was about six years old.

Mouthed the words 'thank you'

On Friday, the jury of eight women and four men took less than one hour to unanimously come to a not guilty verdict.

As the foreman of the jury read out "not guilty" to each count, Mr Lloyd-Lavery nodded.

When all 13 verdicts had been read he looked at the jury and mouthed the words: "Thank you."

When asked if he wished to comment afterwards, Mr Lloyd-Lavery told reporters: "I have nothing to say."

Related Topics