A MAN accused of the historic sex abuse of two young girls, both relatives of his then-girlfriend, has been cleared by a jury.
Richard Malone (39), of Laburnum Avenue, Maltby, faced 13 counts of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault at Sheffield Crown Court last week.
He was accused of abusing two young girls in the 1990s — now women in their 30s who cannot be named for legal reasons — in their beds or in a car.
But jurors found him not guilty on all counts on Monday, after just over an hour of deliberations.
Testifying last Friday, Mr Malone said the relationship with his then-girlfriend lasted less than a year — not two to four years as his accusers claimed, saying their were abused throughout.
He added that he did not own or learn to drive a car until 2002 and only owned a motorbike at the time.
Judge Paul Watson QC said: “There is no doubt about it, members of the jury — someone here is lying.”
Mr Malone denied all 13 counts throughout the trial, saying the women were probably making up the abuse because they thought he was rich.
He received a £130,000 compensation pay-out in 2007 after suffering a workplace accident in 2002, the court heard.
Sent to deliberate at 2.30pm on Monday, jurors had returned unanimous not guilty verdicts by around 3.45pm.