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Defendant denies lying in child sex assault trial
9:30am Tuesday 5th November 2013 in News
THE former president of Abingdon’s Chamber of Commerce has denied lying to a jury at Oxford Crown Court.
Paul Townsend, of Hadland Road, Abingdon, finished being cross-examined yesterday at the start of the third week of his trial.
The 28-year-old was questioned in detail about sexual abuse allegations made against him by four girls over a two-year-period.
Townsend — who has described himself as “a bit of a lad” — denies a total of 20 counts, 13 of sexual activity with a child, three of sexual assault and four of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The complainants in the case were aged between 13 and 16 at the time the abuse is alleged to have taken place. Townsend is a former committee member of Dunmore Pre-School in Abingdon and was on the board of the Choose Abingdon Partnership.
Yesterday Townsend told Fern Russell, prosecuting, he had never looked at any of the complainants in a sexual way. The barrister asked him: “You did go on to touch them, didn’t you?”
He replied: “No.”
Miss Russell said: “You liked what you saw and you wanted to touch them, didn’t you?” Townsend told her: “No.”
Later he agreed with Miss Russell’s suggestion that the prosecution witnesses must be “lying” about his behaviour.
She said: “It is the easiest defence in the world to run, to just provide a blanket denial of everything.
Is that what you decided to do when you decided what lies to tell to the jury?”
Townsend replied: “I haven’t told any lies.”
The trial continues.