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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Ex-businessman from Cumbria accused of sex offences

THE trial of a former businessman charged with sexually abusing three girls decades ago began yesterday.

Martin Phillips, 42, of Main Street, Haverigg, appeared before a jury at Barrow Crown Court charged with two counts of indecency with a child and one count of indecent assault.

The charges were brought last year after the complainants went to the police.

It is claimed that Phillips, the former owner of Devonshire Saw Mill in Millom, committed the alleged offences in Bootle in the late 1980s and in 1990. The charge of indecent assault and one charge of indecency with a child allegedly took place against two girls, aged five and seven, in a house.

The court heard one of the girls was allegedly told that if she went to her parents the defendant would “make up a lie that she had been wetting her knickers”.

The other charge of indecency with a child is alleged to have involved a girl aged between nine and 12.

The first witness, a female aged seven at the time of the alleged abuse, was due to give evidence to the court today.

Mr Andrew Lodge, prosecuting, said: “This is important evidence, as it goes to show that these are not recently fabricated allegations.

“Each of these girls have told other people, even when they didn’t know that other allegations had been made.”

Mr Lodge said that in the case of the two girls neither of them was aware the defendant had allegedly abused the other – until a conversation last year. Phillips denies all the charges.

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