A MAN who had sex with a 14-year-old has been cleared of a child sex charge by a Sheriff.

Kyran Crawford, 21, received the verdict following a summary trial at Alloa Sheriff Court last month, where he was accused of engaging in sexual activity with an older child.

The offence was said to have taken place at an address in Clackmannanshire on September 29, 2017.

During the trial, the complainer, now 16, claimed she was drunk at a party on the night in question.

At some point, she and her friend bumped into Crawford and his friend -both of whom were also drunk - and they all went to Crawford’s flat.

Whilst there, she ended up in a bedroom with Crawford and the sexual activity took place.

She claimed to have disclosed she was 14, and said that despite being told to “get off”, Crawford remained on top of her for several minutes before police arrived.

Fiscal depute Gail Russell led the Crown’s case on the basis that Crawford had raped her by forcing her to have sex.

However, that allegation was not included in the charge he faced during the trial.

Mike Lowrie, defending, put it to the complainer that she had told his client she was 17 on the night, which she denied.

He then raised the fact she gave police a false date of birth taking her above consenting age, and she said that was because Crawford could hear her answer.

Mr Lowrie then said: “If [Crawford] already knew your age, why give the police a false age?”

The girl replied: “I don’t know,” before later clarifying that she did not want anyone to get arrested.

According to one police witness’s testimony at trial, the complainer said on the night that she had told Crawford she was “of consenting age” and had sex willingly.

Another police officer said that he had also heard the complainer say she had intentionally engaged in sexual activity.

And the officer who walked in on the pair having sex told the court the girl had been on top of Crawford – contradicting her claim that he was on top of her.

Other witnesses, when asked to guess the complainer’s age during the trial, stated that she looked like a teenager, and one claimed she looked about twenty.

Sheriff Simon Collins QC outlined that Crawford could be acquitted of the charge if he found him to have had reason to believe the girl was 16.

After considering the evidence, he said that inconsistencies with the complainer’s evidence meant he could not accept her claim to have told Crawford she was 14.

He also pointed out that a number of witnesses during the trial estimated she was above, or near, consenting age.

In the circumstances, he found Crawford, of Carseview in Tullibody, not guilty of the charge, and made no decision regarding the rape allegation as it did not form part of said charge.