A SECOND jury has been unable to decide whether a Kirkby Stephen quarry worker tried to rape a 13-year-old schoolgirl.

In May the first jury found Norman Foster Bousfield, 57, guilty at Carlisle Crown Court of three charges of sexual activity with the girl.

But it was unable to agree verdicts on two further more serious charges – that he attempted to have sex with her against her will.

A new jury was sworn in last week to hear a retrial of those two charges of attempted rape. But after hearing all the evidence over more than a week and spending more than ten hours in deliberation, that jury could not agree verdicts either.

The jury of six men and six women were discharged on Tuesday this week, leaving the Crown Prosecution Service two days to decide whether to apply to have a third trial. Bousfield will be back in court to hear the decision tomorrow.

If, as expected, the prosecution decide not to ask for another retrial Bousfield will be sentenced for the offences of which he was found guilty six months ago.

During the trials the juries heard that Bousfield began assaulting the girl after she visited him and his partner Nicola Higgins at their detached house in Fletcher Hill Park, Kirkby Stephen, to see their baby.

“He developed an unhealthy and totally inappropriate sexual interest in her,” prosecuting counsel Nick Kennedy said.

The barrister said Bousfield’s conduct continued all through the school summer holidays and culminated – the prosecution claimed - with his putting the girl on his bed and trying to rape her.

Bousfield’s victim – who is now grown up – told the court he warned her not to tell anyone how he had been repeatedly sexually abusing her during her summer holidays because if she did her mother would be so ashamed of her she would not love her any more.

Bousfield said he had never been alone with the girl, had not phoned her to invite her over to his house, had not asked her to help him bath his baby and had not touched her in any way.