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Chattenden naturist Jarrod Larkin cleared of child sex offences

ByJulia Roberts

A naturist who told police there were "no boundaries with nudity" has today been cleared of sexually abusing a boy.

A jury of seven men and five women unanimously found Jarrod Larkin not guilty of eight sex offences.

The 53-year-old, who was arrested at Rochester's private King's School where he worked as a site support manager, had been on trial at Maidstone Crown Court since Monday.

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

He denied six offences of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, and two of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

The court heard Mr Larkin, from Searchlight Heights, Chattenden, was known for walking around his home and mowing his lawn naked. He would also visit nudist beaches on holiday.

But having been arrested outside the prestigious school in February 2018, he denied his behaviour was sexually motivated, or that he had abused anyone.

It was alleged that Mr Larkin encouraged a boy to masturbate on the promise of buying him chips, and showed him pornographic DVDs.

The court was told the pair also compared the sizes of their manhoods, using a metal ruler to measure them.

The alleged victim later confided in a schoolfriend and police were eventually alerted.

The comment about nudity having no boundaries was made by Mr Larkin during his police interview.

'He said he was a naturist and there were no boundaries with nudity. He said it was the norm' - Martin Yale, prosecutor

Prosecutor Martin Yale told the court that although Mr Larkin accepted some of his behaviour with the boy, he denied any sexual conduct.

"When he was interviewed by police, he denied that he had sexually abused the boy," added Mr Yale.

"He said he was a naturist and there were no boundaries with nudity. He said it was the norm."

In the same interview, Mr Larkin said he was quite open about being a naturist, and enjoyed being naked at home on many hundreds of occasions.

He added he would cover up if there were visitors but told police: "I am very open and very relaxed about bodies. It's not an issue for me. Perhaps it's a filter I don't have."

Mr Larkin maintained he had not sexually abused the boy, or either invited or encouraged him to watch pornography.

The court heard he was interviewed just once, almost nine hours after his arrest and being held in a police cell.

His barrister, Tom Dunn, described him as appearing extremely distressed and preoccupied in the 89-minute interview which included intimate questionsabout his sexual practices.

Jarrod Larkin was arrested at King's School in Rochester
Jarrod Larkin was arrested at King's School in Rochester

Mr Larkin was then released on bail pending further inquiries and believed he would be re-interviewed in March last year.

But no interview took place and he was eventually charged.

His laptop was seized and analysed but police found nothing of concern, the court heard.

He is no longer employed at King's School.

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