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Britain's Got Talent winners Spelbound coach cleared of child cruelty charges

Prosecutors said they dropped the case against Neil Griffiths, who coaches the troupe in Hounslow, following fresh medical evidence

Spelbound perform in Britain's Got Talent in 2010

Child cruelty charges against the coach of Britain's Got Talent winners Spelbound have been dropped.

Neil Griffiths, of Cumberland Road, Ashford, had been charged in May with five counts of child cruelty and was due to appear at Isleworth Crown Court on September 24 to enter a plea.

But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had decided to drop the case against the gymnastics instructor following the emergence of fresh medical evidence.

Mr Griffiths, 42, coaches the acrobatic gymnastics troupe Spelbound, the 2010 winners of ITV show Britain's Got Talent, who train at Heathrow Gymnastics Club in Green Lane, Hounslow.

A CPS spokeswoman said: "We have a duty under the Code for Crown Prosecutors to keep cases under continuous review.

"Following receipt of further medical evidence we reviewed this case and concluded that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction. We have therefore discontinued this case."

Mr Griffiths was reported by the Telegraph as saying he had been through 18 months of hell and the matter should never have been allowed to "drag on" for as long as it did.

A family friend was reported by the paper as saying the charges had been the result of a "witch hunt" by a handful of disaffected parents.

The charges against Mr Griffiths related to three alleged victims, one male and two female, all of whom were aged under 16 at the time, police had said.

The alleged offences, said to have occurred between 2005 and 2014, were reported to police in June 2014 and charges were made following an investigation by the Child Abuse Investigation Team based in Feltham.

He was reportedly suspended by British Gymnastics pending the outcome of the case.

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