WINSTER: Sex offender cleared of ban breach at cake contest

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A registered sex offender accused of illegally speaking to children at a school cake contest has been found not guilty.

Martin Firth, 65, walked free from Chesterfield magistrates’ court on Wednesday after being acquitted by JPs.

He denied the charge at a previous hearing last month.

Mr Firth was convicted of possessing and making indecent images of youngsters in 2008.

He was jailed and slapped with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which included a ban on him communicating with children.

Bill Taylor, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Firth allegedly breached that order during a cake competition at Winster Primary School last July.

However, prosecution witness Susan Tomlinson, the school’s former headteacher, admitted she could not be absolutely sure if Mr Firth did speak to any youngsters at the event.

She said: “I would say he did communicate with children – although I can’t remember.”

John Bunting, defending, told JPs: “Mrs Tomlinson can’t be sure that Mr Firth communicated with children.

“If she can’t be sure then you can’t be sure.”

Magistrates acquitted Mr Firth, saying: “The witness cannot be absolutely sure that you spoke to children.

“Therefore, no reasonable bench can convict you of this offence.”

Mr Firth, of Melbourne Road, Bristol, thanked JPs as he left the court.