Historic sex abuse accused: Trial date set


Staff reporter

SIX men charged with historic sexual abuse of children in care in North Wales will go on trial in April of next year.

It is expected to last for up to six weeks.

The defendants, charged following an investigation by the National Crime Agency into recent allegations of past abuse in the care system in the region, all appeared at a plea hearing at Mold Court on Friday.

Mark Granger, (aka Gary Cooke), 63, from Galway Road, Leicester, denied three counts of indecent assault and two serious sex assaults in the 1980s.

David Lightfoot, 71, from Parklands View, Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, denied three counts of indecent assault and two serious sex assaults.

Keith Stokes, 61, from Quarry Hill in Farndon, near Chester, pleaded not guilty to four counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency, one serious sex assault and one attempted serious sex assault.

Former local radio DJ Roy Norry, 54, from Hamilton Road, Connah’s Quay, denied three counts of indecent assault, one serious sex assault and one count of an attempted serious sex assault.

Neil Phoenix, 62, of Windsor Road, New Broughton, Wrexham, pleaded not guilty to one charge of indecent assault.

Edward Julian Huxley, 69, from Lower Road, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire, denied two counts of indecent assault.

Judge Rhys Rowlands rebailed the six men pending an adjourned plea hearing on October 31.

He fixed the trial at Mold Crown Court on April 13 of next year.

The trial is expected to last six weeks and the prosecution have been given 28 days to consider whether to charge two other potential defendants and to decide whether they should be part of the same trial.

Stokes, who had been living in Llangollen, had his bail conditions changed so that he could return to Farndon.

* IN A separate case Peter Steen, 73, of Heol y Wal, Bradley, Wrexham, a former senior care worker at homes run by the Bryn Alyn Care Homes organisation, pleaded not guilty to three offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and four of child cruelty on four boys and one girl, aged between 13 and 16, between 1978 and 1986.

He was rebailed pending his trial, which is expected to last two weeks, starting on February 23 next year.

Judge Rowlands fixed an adjourned plea hearing on October 31.

See full story in the Leader

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