King’s Lynn shopkeeper cleared of sexually assaulting girls

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. ENGANL00120120910144054
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. ENGANL00120120910144054
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A Lynn shopkeeper has been cleared of sexually assaulting two girls in his store.

Baskaran Ramalingam, 49, of Kings Avenue, Lynn, had been accused of attacking the girls between July 1 and August 31 last year.

But a jury at the Lynn Crown Court took two hours to find him not guilty on both charges yesterday afternoon.

During a four-day trial, the court heard the two girls, who were both under 13 at the time of the alleged incidents, claim they had been assaulted by Ramalingam in his shop in South Lynn.

One of them had claimed he had put his arm around her before touching her inappropriately.

The other had said Ramalingam had put his hands over her eyes before assaulting her.

But Ramalingam said that, although he had covered the eyes of one of the girls, he had done so as part of a game, telling the jury that such behaviour was “normal” in his culture.

He insisted he had not engaged in any inappropriate behaviour and claimed that the complainants were among a group who had caused problems at his shop, including not re-paying debts when he had allowed them to take goods without having the total amount to pay for them.

Police also confirmed that no evidence of any inappropriate behaviour by Ramalingam had been found on the shop’s CCTV footage.