A 21-YEAR-OLD man accused of robbery has been cleared by a jury at Oxford Crown Court.

Benjamin Oates, of Pooles Lane, Charlbury, was accused of robbing a 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on July 20 last year.

But yesterday a jury found him not guilty of the offence after five hours and 28 minutes of deliberating.

Throughout the trial Oates denied that he was one of three men involved in beating up the boy outside the Carpenter’s Arms pub in Newland, Witney, and stealing his mobile phone and keys.

Thomas Alcock, 22, also of Pooles Lane, had already admitted the crime and was sentenced to 30 months in prison in March this year.

When he was arrested Oates also had a small amount of cocaine on him. Judge Patrick Eccles said he would sentence Oates for possession of the drug on May 16.