THE trial of a Boys’ Brigade leader accused of abusing two children has been brought to an abrupt end.
The case against married father-of-three Terence Cawte was in its seventh day at Portsmouth Crown Court when it was stopped yesterday because of an issue with the jury.
Cawte will now face a re-trial which is expected to take place in the new year.
The 74-year-old is accused of repeatedly abusing two youngsters at his home in Waterlooville and at his former bookshop, The Portsmouth Christian Book Centre, in New Road, North End. He denies the allegations.
It is alleged Cawte had met both the children through his volunteer work as a Captain for the Havant and Leigh Park Boys’ Brigade, between the 1970s and 1990s.
Both alleged victims, one who is now in his 30s and one in his 40s, had already given evidence at the trial.
Judge Ian Pearson told the eight women and four men on the jury: ‘I can say straight away that you will be playing no further part in this trial.
‘We are going to have to discharge you.
‘This has been an exceptionally unlucky case.’
He added: ‘You may feel you have had seven days of your life wasted.
‘You haven’t. You have played an absolutely crucial role in the justice system.’
Cawte, of Maytree Gardens, Waterlooville, denied five multiple incident counts of indecent assault on a male, one of indecency with a child and two other sexual