A fish and chip shop owner accused of having sex with a 14-year-old schoolgirl faces a possible retrial after a jury at Lincoln Crown Court was unable to reach a verdict in the case.
Peter Donger runs the Chips Ahoy shop in Spalding. He denied any inappropriate behaviour towards the girl.
The jury spent seven and a half hours spread over three days deliberating before announcing they were unable to reach a verdict.
Donger, 37 , of Market Lane, Walpole St Andrew, pleaded not guilty to two charges of sexual activity with a child between February 1 and December 26 2016.
The prosecution has been given until February 25 to make a decision on whether to have a retrial.
During the trial David Outterside, prosecuting, told the jury that Donger initially involved the girl in a game of truth and dare which led to her removing her top in front of him.
Mr Outterside said: “Before long he was engaged in a full blown sexual relationship with this girl.
“At the time he was 35. She was 14. She was a virgin.”
Police became involved after the girl spoke to her cousin and her mother learned of the conversation. The mother confronted Donger and then police were contacted.
Donger said that sex never took place between himself and the girl. He said he knew the girl and had been attempting to support her at a time when she was having difficulties.