Report by Karen Richards
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
A PORTBURY man accused of sexually abusing his young stepdaughter for nine years told a court he did have sexual encounters with a 17-year-old neighbour.
The 65-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victims, is charged with committing 19 offences between 1978 and 1987.
Giving evidence at Bristol Crown Court on Monday, he told jurors in 1984, when he was 37, he complied when a girl sought his advice about boys which led to inappropriate behaviour between them.
The pensioner said she confided in him about never having had a boyfriend and he told her she dressed ‘quite boyishly’ and if she wore a skirt they would be interested in her.
He said: “I did what she asked me to.”
The court heard over the next two months she asked him again and things progressed further until he heard rumours about himself in the village so he told her to stop visiting.
The man has denied charges of indecently assaulting the girl when she was younger than 16, acts of gross indecency on two other girls under the age of 16 and abusing his step-daughter.
His wife also faces charges of cruelty, assault and ill-treatment after allegedly holding her daughter down while her husband whipped her with a stick.
The man admitted smacking her but said he only did it once when she had no underwear on.
He also told the court he had never bonded with her.
He said: “She would never accept me as an authority figure so I couldn’t relate to being called dad by her.
“She was not a good child and she wasn’t happy to be moving to Portbury so it was obvious my dealings with her would be kept to a minimum.
“We came to an arrangement that she was my wife’s problem and nothing to do with me.”
The man told the court pornographic magazines found in the house, some of them imported, belonged to a former work colleague and the only photographs he had of his wife were ‘candid’ shots of her which were kept in a bedside drawer or his toolbox.
He also denied wearing skimpy shorts, tight trousers and walking around the house naked.
The couple first appeared in court to face the charges in May last year.
The trial is expected to conclude on Friday.