05:10AM, Thursday 21 June 2012
A bus passenger who kissed a grandmother on the hand and asked her to marry him was today cleared of sexually assaulting her granddaughter who was sat next to him.
Anthony Gwilliam, 50, was alleged to have sexually touched the schoolgirl with a bus ticket while all three sat at the back of the number 75 Courtney Coach in Maidenhead last year.
He told Reading Crown Court he had only touched the girl with his ticket to knock off an insect that had flown in and landed on her.
"It was a very horrible creature that came in that window. It freaked me. I'm not an evil person and meant no harm to that child," he said.
But public prosecutor Sandra Beck said he was trying to cover up his 'true motivations' which had been 'recognised' by the girl.
Mr Gwilliam, of Northumbria Road, Maidenhead, was already on the bus when the girl and grandmother got on at Frascati Way.
The girl, who is aged between five and eight, was first on and headed to the back and sat next to him.
He struck up a conversation and told the grandmother she was beautiful before kissing her on the hand, the court was told.
The crown alleged he then touched the girl without her seeing, which she later told her mother.
The jury found Mr Gwilliam not guilty of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 13 after two hours of deliberations.
See today's Advertiser for the full story.
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