London

Man bailed over child sex charges dating back 62 years

A pensioner has pleaded not guilty to a catalogue of child sex crimes dating back to 1949.

Reginald Davis, 77, is accused of 16 historic offences, including several counts of raping a child under 12, over a 24-year period in London.

He was extradited from Australia in September and pleaded not guilty to each charge before being granted bail.

Judge Alistair McCreath set a date of 10 September for the three-week trial to start.

A preliminary hearing will be held on 24 February.

Judge McCreath told Hanna Llewellyn-Waters, prosecuting, at Southwark Crown Court: "Some of these allegations are almost as old as me.

"The most recent is 28 years ago, and the earliest is in 1949."

The prosecutor said: "A great deal of consideration has been given to this before the extradition process."

Mr Davis was granted bail at a later hearing on Monday after his defence barrister, Mark Kimsey, made an application, the court said.

The 77-year-old was arrested in July at his adopted home of Wanneroo, on Australia's west coast.

He faces four charges of child rape, three charges of attempted rape, eight counts of indecent assault, and one count of inciting a child to commit gross indecency.

The majority of the charges refer to offences which took place in the 1950s, but attacks were alleged to have carried on until 1973.

Speaking outside court, prosecutors said the charges, dating back 62 years, made it the oldest criminal case in UK legal history.

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