A FORMER UK Independence Party activist in Southampton has been acquitted of sex charges levelled against him.

Ryan Newell, 29, had faced ten charges of sexual activity with a child and one charge of sexual assault that centred around two girls between 2008 and 2010.

Jurors at the city crown court found Mr Newell innocent of ten allegations but could not reach a verdict on the eleventh charge.

The Crown Prosecution Service was given seven days to determine whether to seek a re-trial but the Echo was banned from reporting the development.

Following a consultation with the alleged victim, the CPS has now decided not to proceed on the outstanding issue.

Mr Newell, formerly of Honeysuckle Road, Bassett, Southampton, worked as a line manager for British Gas in St Mary’s Road. He moved to the city ten years ago after an amateur boxing career was cut short.

Mr Newell had risen through the ranks of the UKIP to become a leading figure in the local branch.

He was a leading critic against plans for a gypsy and traveller transit site in Swaythling four years ago and of the Liberal Democrat administration running the city at the time.

Mr Newell was later ousted from the local party and has been banned from reapplying for membership.

Mr Newell has now returned to live in Maidstone in Kent where he grew up.