A FATHER accused of abusing his daughters in a bid to make them Wimbledon champions 'broke down in tears' as he was acquitted.

John De'Viana, of Brancaster Road, Newbury Park, was alleged to have beaten and punished his daughters Monaei, 21, and Nephe, 19, when they failed to meet his performance standards.

But the 54-year-old told his trial that the pair had fabricated the claims to get back at him for walking out on the family in 2011.

Following a two-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, De'Viana was cleared on two counts of child abuse by unanimous verdict from a jury of seven men and five women.

As he left the dock, the defendant, wearing a dark, stripy shirt and a gilet, broke down in tears.

It took the jury less than an hour and a half to return the not guilty verdicts.

An emotional Mr De'Viana had to be assisted by court staff as he struggled to leave the dock.

The former karate champion had denied the many allegations of mistreatment made against him during the trial.