Artist Graham Ovenden guilty of indecency charges

Graham Ovenden Graham Ovenden's art works have been exhibited across the globe

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A well-known artist from Cornwall has been found guilty of indecency against young girls.

Graham Ovenden denied the charges, which dated back about 40 years and were said to have occurred in London and Cornwall.

During the trial at Truro Crown Court the jury was shown examples of the 70-year-old's work, much of it involving children.

Ovenden was convicted on six counts of indecency and one of indecent assault.

He was cleared on three counts of indecency and two of indecent assault.

'Witch-hunt'

Ovenden, of The Garage, Barley Splatt, near Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, was not present in court, having been taken ill last week.

Judge Graham Cottle released Ovenden on bail and adjourned sentencing for a date to be fixed at Plymouth Crown Court.

A former pupil under Sir Peter Blake, Ovenden has had work exhibited in galleries across the globe.

He had denied all the charges relating to four children - now all adults - between 1972 and 1985.

Ovenden was described in court by prosecutor Ramsay Quaife as "a paedophile" who abused children while they modelled for him.

But the artist denied the abuse ever happened. He told the court he had taken pictures of children - including those in various states of undress - but said they were not indecent.

When giving evidence, Ovenden said there was a "witch-hunt" against those who produce work involving naked children and he accused police of "falsifying" images recovered from his home computer.

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