1. ITV Report

Commuter cleared of 'ludicrous' sex assault warns the same could happen to any man

A commuter who was cleared of a charge of sexual assault on an actress in a busy railway station has condemned the decision to charge him - saying his year-long ordeal could happen to any man in Britain.

Mark Pearson Credit: PA

Mark Pearson was accused of attacking the woman, who has not been named, as he made his way through Waterloo station.

CCTV footage shows the 51-year-old artist and picture framer did not break his stride as he walked past her in under a second.

The woman had claimed he put his hand up her skirt and touched her, barged her shoulder and then ran away after she screamed.

In the footage Mr Pearson can be seen holding a newspaper in his left hand and his bag in his right.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He is calling for answers from the Crown Prosecution Service about why his case was taken to trial.

I just can't comprehend why, having seen the CCTV, they arrested me - let alone charged me.

How ridiculous do cases get before they throw them out? My case is just so over-the-top - it's preposterous, ludicrous that anyone could do that in less than a second.

If we hadn't had the CCTV I could be in prison now and on the sex offenders register.

Having that hanging over your head for a year - I wouldn't wish that on anybody, which is why I would like to publicise what happened to me. I don't know what's happened to the system - something has gone wrong.

– Mark Pearson
Credit: PA

Mark says his partner of 16 years, Carol Ho, "knew from the very beginning it was total rubbish".

It's such a vile thing to be accused of - I was terrified of being locked away for such a vile crime, which I would never in a million years do.

I have to take it further, not just for my sake but for others - any man in Britain could be accused of something in the same way.

It's scary that a year of your life could be taken away like this.

– Mark Pearson

A jury at Blackfriars Crown Court took 90 minutes to clear Mr Pearson of the charge of sexual assault.

There were no witnesses, no forensic evidence and the actress failed to pick out Mr Pearson in an identity parade.

Mr Pearson has written to the head of the CPS, Alison Saunders, requesting an interview but has not yet had a response.

There was sufficient evidence for this case to proceed to court and progress to trial. We respect the decision of the jury.

– CPS statement