Ipswich pensioner, 76, allegedly sexually abused four schoolgirls between 1957 and 2011

Chelmsford Crown Court

Chelmsford Crown Court - Credit: Lucy taylor

The trial of a 76-year-old Ipswich man charged with historic child sex offences dating back to the 1950s began today.

Paul Andrews, of Hawthorn Drive, is alleged to have abused four female victims aged between six and 12 at the time of the offences.

Andrews is accused of a total of 14 sexual offences on the four victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, which allegedly took place between 1957 and 2011.

The pensioner is charged with seven counts of indecent assault, five counts of rape and two assaults on a child under the age of 13.

The case is believed to involve one of the longest gaps in this country’s history between the time an alleged offence is said to have taken place and a defendant’s appearance before a court to face charges.

Andrews, who is a wheelchair user, was due to stand trial at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday, but access problems meant the case was switched to Chelmsford Crown Court to accommodate him.

In his opening statement, prosecutor Christopher Wing explained how one of the victims came forward in August last year alleging she had been abused by Andrews. She had confided in a friend, which then gave her the confidence to go to police, the court heard.

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Three further victims then made allegations against him and Andrews was arrested by police in November.

The jury of nine women and three men heard a police interview from one of the victims, in which she gave a detailed account of her alleged abuse.

In her interview with officers, the victim said: “I didn’t know what to do, I just froze. I was too young to know what was going on.”

Addressing the jury, Mr Wing said: “The charges relate to a series of serious sexual assaults by this defendant over a number of years.

“Over the course of this trial, the prosecution will prove these charges and you will be sure the defendant is guilty.”

Andrews denies the charges and told police in an interview that the historic allegations made against him were “completely untrue”.

The trial, which is expected to last eight days, continues.

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