Tyne & Wear

Greggs heir 'helped youngsters reach potential'

Colin Gregg Image copyright PA
Image caption Colin Gregg has "emphatically" denied accusations he assaulted a number of boys

The son of the Greggs bakery founder, who is accused of molesting boys, has told a court he dedicated his life to helping children reach their full potential.

Colin Gregg denies 26 charges of sexual assault over a 30-year period beginning in the 1960s through to the 1990s.

The 74-year-old, of Gosforth, Newcastle, said he helped support difficult youngsters.

He told a jury he often helped children who had been rejected by their parents.

Giving evidence at Newcastle Crown Court, he went on to describe his time working as a teacher, social worker, fundraiser and a running coach in the North East.

'Fulfilling potential'

Mr Gregg told the court: "My life has been spent on fulfilling their potential. Not to harm them."

The jury was told he set up a schooling establishment to look after boys with behavioural problems and set up the North East Children's Cancer Run which has raised nearly £7m.

He denied assaulting a boy in the presence of other young people, saying the accuser was not present at the time of the alleged offence.

Mr Gregg insisted the nine people against whom the offences are alleged to have been committed, were making false accusations.

Asked by the prosecution: "Do you believe you are the victim of a conspiracy of lies?", Mr Gregg replied: "Yes, that is my position."

The case continues.

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