A DAD from Berkeley accused of ill treating his handicapped daughter and being cruel to a young boy has been exonerated after the prosecution dropped the case against him.

Nicholas Campbell, 49, of Church View, Newport had pleaded not guilty at Gloucester Crown Court in March to ill treating or neglecting daughter Paige Campbell, 18, on November 13, 2013.

The charge stated that Paige was a 'person who lacks capacity' to care for herself, as she has a mental age of 11 months.

Mr Campbell also denied cruelty to a boy under 16 by wilfully assaulting or ill treating him on the same date.

He was awaiting jury trial on Tuesday, July 29 but prosecutor Janine Wood told the court: "The decision has been taken that we are not proceeding any further and therefore we offer no evidence."

Judge Jamie Tabor QC formally found Mr Campbell not guilty and made a defendant’s costs order in his favour.

It was a serious matter, said the judge, because Mr Campbell had spent three weeks in custody following his arrest until he was bailed.

Mr Campbell had pleaded guilty in October last year of abandoning his daughter for ten hours while he went out drinking.

The court heard at the time he had gone out at 3pm on August 22, 2013 and did not return until 1.10am.

On his return in his car, he smelt of alcohol but refused to give a breath test when police arrested him.

Two days before abandoning Paige he had been arrested for drink driving when he was three times over the limit, the court was told.

Campbell pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on August 20, willfully neglecting Paige on Aug 22 and refusing a breath test on the same date.

Judge Alistair McGrigor sentenced him to 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, and banned him from driving for four years.

He said he had decided not to pass an immediate jail term because Campbell had care of his two younger children and until the offences had also cared well for Paige single-handedly since soon after she was born.

The offences happened at a time when Campbell had 'mentally collapsed' because of the pressure on him, the death of his father and the serious illness of his mother, the judge added.

Mr Kesner said Campbell has 23 previous criminal convictions including two for drink driving in 1993 and 2006.

Judge McGrigor said at the time: "I take into account that you appear to be genuinely remorseful. I also take into account that if you go to prison both your two younger children would most likely go into care and you will very likely lose your home as a result."