Man accused of a decade of abuse

A PORTBURY man accused of repeatedly sexually abusing his step daughter and her friends over a number of years has appeared in court charged with multiple offences dating back as far as the 1970s.

Today (Tues), his wife appeared alongside him at North Somerset Courthouse charged with neglect after it was alleged the couple would also regularly restrain her daughter when she was a child to either smack her or beat her with sticks.

The husband and wife, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of their victims, deny all of the charges against them and will later stand trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Today, North Somerset magistrates heard how the man allegedly sexually abused his step daughter at least twice a week for six years from when she was just eight years old.

He is also accused of regularly indecently assaulting her friends when they came to see her at her Portbury home over a 10-year period.

The man faces 14 charges that relate to his step daughter and three other girls, all of whom are now adults.

The offences are alleged to have happened between 1971-1987, including two of assaulting, ill-treating or neglecting a child, seven of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14, two of gross indecency with a girl under the age of 14, one of inciting a girl under the age of 14 to commit an act of gross indecency and two of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16.

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His wife is charged with two counts of assaulting, ill-treating or neglecting a child between 1978-1980.

The couple are due to appear at North Somerset Courthouse on July 26 to be committed to Bristol Crown Court.

In the meantime they have been granted bail.