A 49-year-old man accused of inciting sexual activity with a child may face a retrial after a deadlocked jury failed to reach a verdict.

Richard Fern, who was said to have gone by the nickname 'Fudge', denies causing or inciting a child aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity in Worcester.

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However, the jury could not reach either a unanimous or majority verdict on Monday after deliberating for six hours and 52 minutes.

Fern, who was represented by Nicholas Berry, pleaded not guilty to the alleged offence, said to have taken place in Worcester between June 14, 2007 and June 13, 2009 when the complainant was eight or nine years old. The allegation is that Fern incited the child, now an adult, to perform a sexual act upon him. He denied that any such act ever took place. The allegation came to light after the complainant mentioned the alleged incident to a social worker.

Judge James Burbidge QC, who heard the trial, said: "It's unfortunate you could not reach a verdict but that sometimes happens."

The Crown, represented by prosecutor Harinderpal Dhami, asked for seven days to consider whether there will be a retrial.

He said: "I'm instructed to ask for seven days." He said the complainant in the case would have to be spoken to in advance of any decision being made.

At the trial Fern, now of Burcot Lane, Bromsgrove, was said to have asked the complainant to 'do him a favour' and she had thought he meant he wanted her to get him a drink.

"The prosecution case is that he would ask if she would help him do something if he showed her what to do" said Mr Dhami. The allegation is that Fern then exposed himself to the girl, forcing her to touch him.

The jury was played a police video interview with the complainant, recorded on August 14, 2017.

"Because of the way he treated me, I was scared to say no," she said. Both the complainant and the defendant gave live evidence, the complainant doing so over a live videolink.

In police interview Fern denied any wrongdoing and said the incident 'never happened'.