Somerset

Former Somerset church organist 'abused girls'

Nigel Parkin, 56, leaving Taunton Crown Court on Monday.
Image caption Mr Parkin denies all the charges

A former organist at a church in Wiveliscombe, Somerset, repeatedly sexually abused two young girls over a 10-year period, a court has been told.

Nigel Parkin, 56, of North Street, Wiveliscombe, is accused of eight charges of rape, five of indecent assault and four of sexual assault.

The offences are alleged to have been committed against the girls on dates between August 1998 and October 2009.

Mr Parkin, who was an organist at St Andrews' Church, denies the charges.

Confided in teacher

Taunton Crown Court heard that neither of the girls told anyone about the alleged abuse at the time.

Police were first alerted when one of the girls - who is now 19-years-old - confided in her head teacher in August 2010.

She is alleged to have been repeatedly indecently and sexually assaulted and raped when she was aged between nine and 16.

Mr Parkin is also alleged to have indecently assaulted a second girl on two occasions when she was aged between 11 and 13.

The girl - now aged 24 - did not tell anyone until she confided in a tutor at university.

Girls 'lying'

Prosecutor Sarah Regan said the offences were said to have been committed in Mr Parkin's car and at his house.

She told the court that Mr Parkin, who is a former presenter on the community radio station 10 Radio, denied all the allegations and had accused the two girls of lying.

Members of the jury watched a two-hour recorded interview with the younger girl which she gave to police in September 2010.

During the interview, the girl frequently broke down in tears as she described the alleged assaults.

She told officers that she had received hospital treatment after taking an overdose and had self-harmed.

The trial continues.

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