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Tony and Julie Wadsworth trial: Ex-BBC host found woodland sex 'erotic'

The Wadsworths arriving at court Image copyright PA
Image caption Tony Wadsworth found watching his wife take part in woodland sex with a young stranger "erotic"

A former BBC presenter has told a court he found watching his wife with a young stranger "erotic".

Tony Wadsworth said his wife Julie was, "a very special human being" who had found the daytime encounter in a Warwickshire woodland "exhilarating".

The couple are on trial at Warwick Crown Court accused of assaulting seven boys in the 1990s.

Mrs Wadsworth accepts having sexual encounters with "young men" but has repeatedly denied they were under age.

'Felt empowered'

The husband and wife duo were employed in BBC local radio at the time of the alleged offences.

Giving evidence in his defence, Mr Wadsworth described two separate encounters involving up to three males each time.

He told the court they appeared to be "16, 17 - possibly 18".

Mr Wadsworth described a claim he had illegal sexual encounters as "outrageous", and denied a prosecution allegation he had a threesome with his wife and a boy at his then home in Warwickshire.

When describing the couple's first encounter in the woods with one of the complainants, Mr Wadsworth said he found it "erotic" to watch his wife with the young stranger.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Julie and Tony Wadsworth deny assaulting seven boys in the 1990s

"She felt empowered as a woman," he said.

He claimed he and his wife had been "kissing and cuddling" when they became aware of a young man watching them.

Mr Wadsworth, 69, said: "I turned, looked around and saw this fella and must confess it was something of a shock.

"It was clear what he was hoping to do. He came forward as I stepped to one side."

He said the encounter took place without a word being exchanged.

He said: "After the heat of the moment was over, it was all very embarrassing and awkward.

"We tidied ourselves up and we all went our separate ways."

Image caption Tony and Julie Wadsworth worked for BBC local radio

Asked by his barrister Michelle Clarke why he allowed his wife to be approached by another man, Mr Wadsworth said her past with an abusive partner had left her insecure.

He told jurors he wanted to prove others found her sexually desirable.

"I think it's fair to say that Julie was and to some extent still is today a damaged person," he said.

"And as our relationship developed she began to confide in me and tell me about her abusive partner who was absolutely vile - the things he perpetrated on her.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Wadsworth said his wife's past with an abusive partner left her "damaged"

"So I did my best to bring out the woman inside her, I suppose."

Mrs Wadsworth has accepted going on to have a sexual relationship with the first complainant, after bumping into him some years later.

Her husband said he was angry when he discovered that tryst and rejected a Facebook friend request from the complainant in 2015.

He said the couple - who previously worked for BBC Leicester and Birmingham-based BBC WM - had taken part in a second woodland encounter involving three males.

Afterwards he said the couple agreed what was happening was "ridiculous, foolhardy and stupid and there would be no repetition".

The couple, from Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, deny five counts of outraging public decency which allege they engaged in sexual activity "against a tree" in view of others between July 1992 and June 1996.

Mrs Wadsworth has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of indecent assault, while her husband denies nine counts of the same offence.

The trial continues.

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