A FATHER found guilty of a 13-year reign of physical abuse has walked free from prison after all 16 of his child cruelty convictions were quashed.
Terrence Eames, 54, was cleared after a panel of judges at the Court of Appeal in London dismissed all of the convictions following a lengthy appeal process.
Mr Eames, now legally an innocent man, was imprisoned for five years on December 1, 2009, at Derby Crown Court after being convicted three weeks earlier of 16 child cruelty offences.
The evidence used against Mr Eames included allegations that he had hit his children around the head and dangled one of them over a staircase by his ankles.
However, Mr Eames, formerly of Woodville Road, Hartshorne, has now won his appeal and his name has been cleared.
The prosecution case at his trial was that he meted out punishments to his two sons and two daughters between 1987 and 2000, when the family lived at different addresses in Leicestershire.
The children, who are now all grown up, claimed their father physically abused them when they were younger by hitting them and locking them in their rooms.
During the appeal process, however, Mr Eames’s barrister, Simon Thomas, said the Court of Appeal would hear fresh evidence which would cast doubt on the ‘safety’ of the jury's verdicts.
Speaking to the Mail after the judgement was passed, Mr Eames’s ex-wife, who asked to be named only as Joanne, said her ex-husband could return to live in Donisthorpe upon his release.
The Mail revealed in March last year that two people had been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in relation to Mr Eames’s original trial.
Those two people remain on police bail.
The Court of Appeal confirmed that Mr Eames, despite having his convictions quashed, will himself remain on bail until May 3 to allow the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether or not it wished to make submissions for a possible retrial.