Wales

Robert Pugh trial: 'No recall' of sharing tent with boys

Robert Pugh Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Robert Pugh ran the Storey Arms outdoor education centre in the Brecon Beacons

A climbing instructor has told a court he cannot remember sharing a tent with two boys he is accused of indecently assaulting.

Robert Pugh, now 75, is accused of six charges of indecent assault, including some during camping trips.

He worked at the Storey Arms outdoor activity centre in the Brecon Beacons in the 1980s and 1990s, when the alleged offences were committed.

Mr Pugh, of Cardiff, denies the charges at Cardiff Crown Court.

He told the jury he ran several trips every year away from the centre, which was run by Cardiff Council.

He said he remembered both of the individuals who have given evidence and were among those who had been invited back for extra advanced courses after they had visited with their school.

When asked about one camping trip, Mr Pugh said he could not remember stopping in the location described by one of the complainants.

He said: "I don't remember sharing a tent with (one complainant). Most staff would have their own tents."

Asked about the second boy, he said: "I don't recall ever sharing a tent with (him)."

Image copyright Geograph/Jaggery
Image caption Storey Arms outdoor activity centre has been part of Cardiff council's education service since 1971

Under cross-examination, Mr Pugh, of Plasturton Avenue, Pontcanna, denied trying to molest one of the complainants in a tent.

He also denied entering a single room of the second complainant at the Storey Arms centre and "touching him up".

He said it was possible the boy accompanied him to a nearby pub in a minibus with other instructors, but he did not remember.

Roger Griffiths QC, prosecuting, put it to Mr Pugh that he had taken advantage of the second complainant after drinking.

"I refute that completely," he said.

Following the conclusion of the prosecution's case, the judge directed the jury to find Mr Pugh not guilty of two other charges because of an absence of evidence.

The trial on the remaining six charges continues.

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