England

Wadsworths' trial: BBC star 'believed sex accuser was 17'

Julie and Tony Wadsworth Image copyright PA
Image caption The Wadsworths deny indecent assault and outraging public decency between 1992 and 1996 in the Atherstone area

An ex-BBC radio presenter accused of child sex offences told police she had sexual contact with one of her accusers when "he was 17", a court heard.

Julie Wadsworth, 60, told officers "a fumble" had led to masturbation but she had "no reason to believe he was under-age", Warwick Crown Court heard.

In a transcript read in court, she said she had "sex in the woods" with husband Tony to "spice up" their sex life.

The couple deny assaulting seven boys in the 1990s.

The Wadsworths, from Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, who have worked for BBC Radio Leicester and BBC WM, are accused of encouraging boys to take part in sexual activity in wooded areas of Warwickshire between 1992 and 1996. They deny five counts of outraging public decency.

Mrs Wadsworth has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of indecent assault and Mr Wadsworth, 69, denies 10 counts of the same offence.

'So embarrassing'

After her arrest, Mrs Wadsworth described sexual contact with one of the accusers, now in his 30s, as "just a bit of fun", the jury heard.

She said it ended when her husband became suspicious and both parties "decided it ought to stop".

Mrs Wadsworth told officers she would never sunbathe topless, as was alleged, as she was "not confident in my body" but did sometimes have sex in woodland with her husband.

"We'd nip into the woods and if we heard anybody coming we'd stop - we wouldn't openly display ourselves," she said.

"We just went down and had sex in the woods from time to time, it's so embarrassing.

"We like to spice up the sex life, but those boys? I don't recognise any of their names."

Earlier, the man Mrs Wadsworth accepted masturbating told the court he sent messages to her years after the alleged abuse.

He said in cross-examination by her barrister he had become "obsessed" with her and sent her messages when he was "drunk, depressed, or down".

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

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