Man cleared of two South Tyneside sex attacks
A sex offender who said he was accused of two attacks on lone women due to "mistaken identity" has been cleared of all charges.
Alan Blacker was on trial for targeting two women in the Jarrow area in separate, daylight attacks, just two weeks apart, where the assailant tried to drag the victims into bushes.
The 39-year-old, of Roseberry Terrace, Boldon, South Tyneside, persistently denied he was the attacker and was tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.
After less than half a day deliberating, jurors found Blacker not guilty on all three charges he faced.
The court heard during the trial Blacker has a conviction for sexual assault in 2011, when he grabbed a 16-year-old in Waterside Park in Hebburn.
Blacker told the court while giving evidence in his defence he has become a hate target by strangers since the offence.
He said: "While I have been stood at bus stops or walking along the street I have had cars go past and people shout 'get out of our area, we will make sure you go back to prison."
Blacker said he had been informed by his probation officer that covert pictures had been taken of him standing at bus stops and circulated over Facebook.
He denied outright being at the scene of either of the attacks last November.
The court heard the first victim was groped as she walked to Felgate metro station in the early morning last November 6.
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When asked where he was at the time the offence was committed, Blacker told jurors: "I would have been getting breakfast, at my dad's house."
Blacker said he knew he had stayed at his dad's home that evening because he could remember it was bonfire night the day before.
He added: "I remember hearing fireworks go off and calming the dogs down."
The court has heard the second attack happened on November 20 on a footpath leading from Kirktstone Avenue towards a bus stop near the Boldon Lad pub in
Blacker told jurors he was unsure where he was on the day and time of the attack.
He said: "I don't know where I was but it wasn't me."
When asked why it was that two separate women picked him out at identity parades, Blacker told the court: "Mistaken identity. I wasn't there at the time."
Blacker was found not guilty of sexual assault on the first woman along with common assault and committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence in relation to the second.