A COUPLE have been cleared of all allegations surrounding a child sex video said to have been taken in a Padiham park.

Convicted burglar Dean Gary Marie, 36, of Colne Road, Burnley, was found not guilty of making an indecent photo of a child between June and August 2001.

Together with his wife Joanna Marie, 34, of Burnley Road, Padiham, he was also acquitted of possessing an indecent photo of a child on August 6 that year. The defendants had denied the charges and were cleared by the jury on the direction of Judge Barbara Watson on the fourth day of a trial at Burnley Crown Court.

They were both discharged on the allegations and Dean Marie returned to custody, where he is serving a sentence.

The court had heard how police found an indecent film of local children when they raided a house on Burnley Road, Padiham, where Joanna Marie was living. Her husband had connections with the property and may have lived there on and off.

The 10-minute video, labelled 'Night Sight' and stashed underneath a carpet, showed youngsters, including a girl aged just 11, indulging in sexual activity. It had been taken in Padiham's Memorial Park. Police also discovered a camcorder at the house and an expert said there was a strong possibility the tape was made with a similar model.

Mark Lamberty, prosecuting, had told the jury how, within three weeks, Dean Marie, who had been present at the house with his wife when officers arrived with a search warrant, was found in the park with a torch, gloves and a night sight.

Judge Watson told the court there was no direct evidence Dean Marie filmed the children.

It was true he was on the pathway in the Memorial Park but there was no evidence he was engaging in the covert filming of children. He was not in possession of a camera.

The judge said although the general circumstances of the defendant being found in the park may be suspicious, it gave rise to nothing more than speculation.

Judge Watson said both the Maries were charged with possessing the indecent tape in a joint enterprise. The prosecution had not been able to show either or both of the defendants knew of the existence of the film.

She added the jury would have had to look at the Maries as individuals, but the evidence against them was the same.