A ST HELENS man charged with a string of indecency offences against schoolgirls walked free from court this week due to a lack of evidence.

Brian Burns (43), of Bishop Reeves Road, Haydock, was cleared of 13 counts of indecency at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday (July 7) after an application to dismiss the case was lodged by his solicitor.

As previously reported in the Star, police arrested Burns in April and charged him in connection with a number of incidents in which ten young girls - aged eight to 12-years-old - alleged that a man had confronted them and asked to see their underwear.

The charges against Burns, which have now all been dropped, related to alleged offences in Clock Face, Ashton-in-Makerfield and Newton-le-Willows between March 15 and April 27 this year.

During that six-week period, several headteachers notified parents about a possible threat to their children and sent warning letters to pupils’ homes.

Further charges relating to Burns unlawfully detaining three girls and allegations that he touched three youngsters in a sexual way have now also been dropped.

Appearing at court last week via video-link, Burns learned that none of the ten complainants had picked him out in a series of police identity parades.

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service told the Star: “This case was dropped because there was insufficient evidence for us to proceed and build a case.

"Letters have been sent out to all the victims to inform them of the decision.”