A FORMER farm labourer has been accused of repeatedly molesting an under-age girl in his tractor cab and down quiet country lanes near Chester.
David Hughes, 67, allegedly subjected the girl to sexual abuse between 1981 and 1985 while working on his parents’ farm at Mickle Trafford.
A jury at Chester Crown Court heard details of five charges levelled against him at the start of a trial yesterday.
Hughes, of Ring Road, Backford, denies all charges and says the complainant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has made up the allegations for personal reasons.
The woman came forward to police last year, about 30 years after the alleged offences took place, and claims she was made to touch his genitals on numerous occasions.
It was also alleged he pressed his private parts against hers, amounting to sexual assault, while she was between the ages of 13 and 16.
A video recording of the woman’s interview with police was played in court. In it she said: “He would stop the tractor and get me to touch his genitals in the middle of a field.
“He did this in various places on the farm where he worked. He’d do it down a lane.
“He would kiss me and he’d want me to open my mouth but I wouldn’t. He would say to me ‘look what you do to me’.
“When he was doing it I knew it was wrong. I don’t know why he kept on doing it. It went on for what felt like ages.”
She said the abuse stopped after her mother received an anonymous letter from someone who claimed to have seen Hughes with her down a lane.
“I was going to take it with me to the grave,” she said. “I thought one of my friends had told my mum but someone had seen him doing things to me down a lane and wrote a letter to my mum. That’s when it stopped.”
But Simon Mills, defending, suggested she had made up the allegations and no sexual abuse had ever taken place.
He cast doubt on the clarity of her childhood memories and said there was no room for two people in the cab of a tractor such as the model Hughes drove.
Mr Mills said in the 1980s children would visit the farm which was always closely monitored by Hughes’ parents.
The woman told the court: “I’m not lying. I wouldn’t put myself through this [if it were untrue].”
The charges against Hughes include two of indecent assault and three of indecency with a child – one of which relates to allegations made by a second woman.
See full story in the Chester Leader