A JUDGE told a jury to acquit a man of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl after she was unable to identify her alleged attacker.

During a trial at Bolton Crown Court, the jury had heard how the teenager was playing on a Segway with a friend in Breightmet on the evening of January 22 when she claimed Zlabys Mantyvydas sexually assaulted her.

In an interview with police the schoolgirl told how 25-year-old Mr Mantyvydas, who is known locally as ‘Monty’, had touched her before and, on one occasion last year, picked her up and tried to take her into his house.

On January 22 this year she said Mr Mantyvydas walked past her and her friend while they were taking turns on a Segway before putting his hand up her top and touching her breast.

Mr Mantyvydas denied sexually assaulting the girl and the jury heard a transcript of his interview with police officers when he said he rarely left his address on Woodlands Road, Bolton, preferring to stay in “sewing, drawing, writing and creating music”.

He maintained that he had been in house at around 5pm shortly before the reported incident but later said he was in the Aldi on Higher Bridge Street with CCTV confirming this to be the case.

The girl had told officers that she had recognised her attacker as Mr Mantyvydas due to him wearing what she described as an “army jacket” and blue jeans and holding a black and white back pack.

But in the CCTV footage, Mr Mantyvydas was wearing a grey and black Adidas jack and distinctive black trousers with a white stripe.

When asked by the police about his trousers, Mr Mantyvydas replied: “I don’t like jeans” and when asked about whether he had sexually assaulted the girl, he said: “that’s horrible”.

The CCTV footage also showed him wearing a head band and Adidas trainers which the girl failed to mention before admitting in court that she had not seen his face and only recognised Mr Mantyvydas because she had seen him a number of times eating his breakfast outside his front door.

Ordering Mr Mantyvydas to be acquitted of the offence, Judge Timothy Stead said there were some “fairly obvious discrepancies” in the girl’s evidence.

He said: “Cases involving identification can give rise to injustice and this is a case that depends almost entirely on a correct identification.

“At all times the defendant has said ‘that’s not me, I wasn’t there, I was somewhere else.”

Explaining his decision to the jury, Judge Stead added: “The quality of identification evidence does not reach the standard of being safe in this case.”