A CHURCH youth leader who was accused of a series of sexual assaults and voyeurism against children and women has been cleared of all charges.

Peregrine Burgess was alleged to have made several children drink excessive amounts of water and then allegedly held and watched them urinate while they visited various locations, including a beach at North Berwick.

Burgess, 54, was also alleged to have sexually assaulted adult women at various medical centres while he was employed as a dietician with NHS Borders.

It was claimed that the dietician allegedly pinched one woman with a set of callipers and pulled her clothing down at Galashiels Health Centre.

The health professional also faced allegations of pinching another woman’s breasts and buttocks and to asking another woman to remove her clothes and urinate in a cup while he worked at Borders General Hospital.

Burgess, from Peebles, stood trial on indictment at Edinburgh Sheriff Court over the past month, where he denied the charges against him.

And following three weeks of evidence from several of the alleged victims, including children, Burgess was found not guilty of any wrongdoing by a jury of 11 men and four women.

Burgess was found not guilty by majority on 17 charges and a further charge against him was found to be not proven. A total of 13 charges were dropped from the indictment during the trial.