Man cleared of sexual offences against boys – Berkshire East
A case against a 63-year-old man charged with 17 offences of historical sexual offences against boys, mainly at a former children’s home in Maidenhead, has concluded.
Oliver Denham Gilbart-Smith, of Buckinghamshire, stood trial at Reading Crown Court on 17 May 2010.
On 23 June 2010, the jury returned not guilty verdicts on 15 of the charges. They were unable to reach a verdict on the remaining two charges. Gilbart-Smith was therefore released on court bail to return to Reading Crown Court yesterday (5/7).
Following consultation between Thames Valley Police, The Crown Prosecution Service and Prosecuting Counsel, a decision was made not to pursue the matter relating to the two outstanding charges.
The 63-year-old man was therefore cleared of all charges yesterday (5/7) which included buggery, gross indecency, and indecent assault.
All charges related to incidents which were alleged to have happened during the 1960s and 1970s. The police investigation centred around eight alleged victims who had reported the abuse.
Det Insp Brian McDaid, senior investigating officer, said:”Thames Valley Police had a duty to investigate the allegations reported, and we felt it was extremely important to give the victims of the alleged abuse the opportunity to present their story to a jury. We must now respect the jury’s decision.
“Although Gilbart-Smith has been found not guilty of the offences, I would like to thank the prosecution witnesseses in this case who have been tremendously brave in recounting their experiences while residing at the former carehome in Maidenhead.
“During the trial, it became clear there was no question that the victims had been subjected to sexual abuse involving a number of other adults.”
CPS case lawyer Luke Bulpitt said: “The jury acquitted Mr Gilbart-Smith of 15 counts on the indictment and were hung on the two remaining counts. A decision not to seek a re-trial of those two counts was taken having obtained advice from Queen’s Counsel.Any future trial could not be allowed to contradict the verdicts already delivered and in the light of those verdicts, there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction on the remaining two counts.
“The decision not to seek a re-trial was not taken lightly and the victims in the case were all informed of the decision in advance of yesterday’s hearing at Reading Crown Court, in accordance with our Victims and Witnesses policy. We were right to bring this case before a jury. We must respect their decision.”