A FORMER RAF corporal and scout master has told a jury he did not sexually abuse a boy during a Lakes camping holiday.

The prosecution alleged Richard William Philpotts, 63, molested a boy near near Windermere during an early 1990s trip he made with a number of boys.

Philpotts denies the charges which allege indecent assault on the boy, and indecency with a child; and further allegations of a further sexual offence and an attempted sex crime.

All are said by the same complainant - now an adult - to have occurred during a Lakes trip which lasted several days.

But, giving evidence, Philpotts - an RAF serviceman for 24 years - gave a vastly different account about that holiday.

“It was decided to go up to Windermere, which was the logical place,” he said, insisting that the boys slept in separate tents. “I had been there many times on scout trips - to Coniston, hiking on the hills, sailing; we decided that was the place to go.”

But the former computer analyst insisted the trip lasted only “one night”, and was cut short due to an RAF recall around the time of the Gulf War.

“Who slept in your tent?” asked Mr Shaw.

“Me,” replied Philpotts.

“Anybody else sleep in your tent?” Mr Shaw asked.

“No,” Philpotts replied.

Mr Shaw continued: “Did you assault any of these three boys during the camping trip?”

Philpotts responded: “No.”

Jurors at Carlisle Crown Court heard how, in 2016, Philpotts was cleared following a court martial trial of molesting that same boy in Germany several decades before.

However, he was convicted of indecently assaulting another boy, and received a three-year jail term.

While locked up, Philpotts agreed he was offered “enhanced” prisoner status if he admitted to that criminal conduct.

Asked by his barrister, Barnaby Shaw, whether he had accepted the “enhancement”, Philpotts stated: “No, I didn’t.”

“What do you say in relation to the validity of that conviction?” Mr Shaw asked.

Philpotts, of Gainsborough Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk, responded: “I will state to my dying day that I didn’t do it.”

The trial continues.