A RECEPTION class teacher has been cleared of sexually abusing a four-year-old pupil.

Alexander Eldridge, who is now 37, was yesterday (Thursday, January 13) found not guilty of touching the girl at the end of a trial in St Albans Crown Court.

He had been accused of committing the offence at a school in East Herfordshire between January 1 and December 31 2017.

Mr Eldridge currently lives in Gould Close, Street. He has not been accused of committing any alleged offences in Somerset.

During his trial in St Albans, he denied four charges of sexual assault of a child aged under 13.

The jury was told he denied touching the girl.

He also maintained at his trial that he was wrongly convicted in 2018 of offences against two other children, for which he served a jail sentence,

Prosecutor Michael Williams said Mr Eldridge was the reception class teacher from 2011 until his suspension in 2017, when the first complaint was made.

The girl in the latest case said nothing until December 2020, three years later, when she told her mother, who called the police.

When questioned, Eldridge denied ever touching the girl.