A FORMER children's home boss has been cleared of historic sex abuse on a young boy at a Wirral orphanage.

Paedophile Michael John Carroll - who has been jailed for similar offences at the same care home - had been due to stand trial in April in Liverpool.

But the prosecution has now decided not to pursue the allegations against him and a judge at the city's crown court has formally entered not guilty verdicts on the three charges he faced.

69-year-old Carroll - known as John - had denied two offences of indecent assault and one of gross indecency involving the child between April 1975 and 1977 when the boy was aged between six and eight.

Lee Bonner, prosecuting, told the court that the Crown intended to offer no evidence explaining: "It is not deemed to pass the evidential test of providing a realistic prospect of conviction".

Carroll, who lives in Weston Rhyn, Oswestry, Shropshire, was not present for the brief hearing as he is away on holiday.

It had been alleged that the offences occurred at St Edmund's Orphanage in Bebington where he himself had been in care before taking up a job at the institution in the mid-1960s.

Twelve years later he took up a post as deputy officer in charge of a children's home in Lambeth before taking overall charge in 1980. He was eventually dismissed following financial irregularities.

He was jailed for ten years at Liverpool Crown Court in 1999 after admitting 35 offences against 12 boys - nine of them at the Wirral home and the others in Lambeth between 1964 and 1982.

A further 41 charges, involving those 12 victims and two further complainants – a boy and a girl – were laid on the file. The charges resulted from a long-running investigation - Operation Care - by Merseyside Police into child abuse in residential homes in the North West.