A PRIVATE hire driver and ex-serviceman has been cleared of sexually assaulting a female passenger at Christmas last year.
Edward Ephgrave, 43, of Myrtle Road, Lancing, was acquitted of one count of sexual assault at the trial at Chichester Crown Court last Wednesday.
The jury of five men and seven women took less than 30 minutes to reach their verdict.
The charge related to an alleged incident on December 22 last year, when Ephgrave picked up a woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, late at night from Tarring.
She had alleged he had asked for a ‘Christmas kiss’ at the end of the journey, but when she refused, he forcibly kissed her, and touched her chest.
It was a version of events Ephgrave denied throughout.
For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, August 8.