RIBBLE Valley MP Nigel Evans said 'nothing will ever be the same again' after being cleared of a string of sex assaults.

The MP had wept in the dock as he was found not guilty of nine charges after a five week trial at Preston Crown Court.

And in an emotional statement on the steps of the court Mr Evans, 56, spoke of his 'dark and lonely' time going through 'hell' as an accused man.

He said: "As many of you know I have gone through 11 months of hell.

"In my darkest and loneliest times, there were only two or one set of footprints in the sand. Those of you of faith will know, they weren't mine."

The MP said despite being cleared it was not the time for 'celebration or euphoria'.

He said: "Bill Roache just a few weeks ago from this very spot said there are no winners in these cases and that's absolutely right, there are no winners, so no celebrations.

"But the fact is I've got work to do, work that I've done for the past 22 years.

"All I can say is that after the past 11 months that I've gone through, nothing will ever be the same again."