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South Cumbria man accused of historical sexual abuse of children goes on trial

Carlisle Crown Court

A MAN accused of the alleged historical sexual abuse of two boys and two girls in South Cumbria has gone on trial.

Anthony John Pickering, 58, denies a total of 16 charges. Three allege serious sexual assaults against one of the male complainants, and 13 allege indecent assaults.

His trial at Carlisle Crown Court began this afternoon (MON) when prosecutor Michael Maher opened the case and gave a summary of the allegations faced by Pickering which date back to the 1970s and 1980s and are said to involve two boys and two girls – all aged under 16.

“They came to light after this defendant was convicted in this court, in the summer of 2018, of a number of charges of indecent assault on boys,” Mr Maher said to the jury. “They were boys who this defendant had coached football to in the Windermere area.”

Mr Maher told jurors the trial judge would give careful legal directions in due course about how this information should be approached. “We agree that you don’t simply say ‘well, he has done it before and so he must have done it again’.”

The prosecutor said Pickering, previously of Claife Avenue, Windermere, had been interviewed in February, 2019, about the new allegations. “In short he described the allegations as a load of old rubbish,” said Mr Maher. “In broad terms you will hear that he was suggesting that the allegations… were motivated to claim for compensation.”

Jurors will begin hearing evidence in court tomorrow and the trial, which is due to last into next week, continues.

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