Decorator denies sex attacks on girls

PUBLISHED: 19:24 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 22:08 26 October 2009

A DECORATOR accused of sexually assaulting young girls took one of his victims to a derelict house to be attacked by other men, a court heard. David Shepherd, 56, plied the youngsters with sweets and lavished them with attention before subjecting them to

A DECORATOR accused of sexually assaulting young girls took one of his victims to a derelict house to be attacked by other men, a court heard.

David Shepherd, 56, plied the youngsters with sweets and lavished them with attention before subjecting them to a "campaign of abuse" during the 70s and 80s, it was claimed.

Shepherd told the children they were getting "special kisses for special girls" but threatened to "get them" if they told anyone what he was up to, jurors were told.

He locked one of his victims in the basement of a derelict house so he and his friends could sexually assault her, Southwark Crown Court heard.

The allegations only came to light in 2006 because one of Shepherd's alleged victims, now in her 40s, was so "haunted" by her childhood she decided to go to the police.

Prosecutor Sheelagh Canavan told the court: "The prosecution alleges that over a period of 10 or 15 years the defendant engaged in a campaign of abuse against children."

She said the girls suffered a "catalogue of abuse at the defendant's hands".

Shepherd was arrested in November 2006.

During police interviews he denied sexually abusing them.

Shepherd, of Stonecross Road, Hatfield, denies five counts of rape, one of buggery and 13 of indecent assault.

The trial continues.


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