Historic sex offence claims against Ipswich man, 76, ‘conspiracy of lies’, court hears

Chelmsford Crown Court room seven, in the magistrates' court building, is hearing the case.

Chelmsford Crown Court room seven, in the magistrates' court building, is hearing the case. - Credit: Lucy taylor

A 76-year-old Ipswich man accused of child sex offences dating back to the 1950s has claimed there is a conspiracy of lies against him.

The jury heard concluding speeches in the case against Paul Andrews, of Hawthorn Drive, at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Thursday, March 9).

Andrews faces multiple charges relating to four victims.

The earliest allegation dates back to the beginning of 1957 when Andrews was aged 16.

The case is believed to involve one of the largest gaps in the country’s history between alleged offence and charges being read aloud in court.

He is accused of multiple rapes and sexual assaults involving four young victims, the alleged incidents taking place across a span of some 60 years.

Andrews was arrested in November 2016.

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Christopher Wing, prosecuting, addressed the jury relating to the defence of the most recent allegations, saying : “In my submission [the defence] does not stand up to scrutiny.”

He also quoted Andrews from a previous interview where the defendant said: “If she [one of the victims] said I did these things, I’m guilty as charged.”

Andrews had claimed he could not remember the incidents levelled against him if they had occurred.

He later changed his position saying there was a conspiracy of lies against him.

Mr Wing reminded the jury that when asked why he had made the previous statement Andrews said he had thought the victims would “come clean” and tell the truth later on.

Mr Wing added: “If he really believed at that stage that they [the victims] were lying, he would have said something.”

Jamie Sawyer, defending, said: “Putting it bluntly, the defendant doesn’t have to prove anything, but he instead chose to engage with the process and answer questions and you [the jury] may think this is to his credit.”

Mr Swift pointed out the length of time that has passed makes it harder to form a defence, as it is much more difficult for the defendant to recall relevant alibis.

He also pointed out there is no medical or forensic evidence in connection to any of the allegations, emphasising to the jury that they must be sure the allegations are true beyond all reasonable doubt if they are to convict.

The jury is expected to retire to consider their verdict on Monday after the judge sums up tomorrow (Friday).