A CHURCH youth leader from Peebles who was accused of a series of sexual assaults and voyeurism against children and women has walked free from court after a jury cleared him of all charges.

Peregrine Burgess was alleged to have made several children drink excessive amounts of water and then watched them urinate while they visited various locations including a beach in East Lothian.

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

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

Following three weeks of evidence Burgess was cleared of any wrongdoing by a jury of 11 men and four women.

He 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 form the indictment during the trial.

All the offences were alleged to have been carried out between June 1, 2012, and May 31 last year.