Father on sex charges was a victim of vendetta'

PUBLISHED: 11:28 21 September 2006 | UPDATED: 14:49 12 May 2010

THE jury in the trial of a car dealer accused of sexually assaulting five young girls several years ago have been hearing from members of his family. His two daughters both said he was wonderful father and that they had never seen him behave inappropriate

THE jury in the trial of a car dealer accused of sexually assaulting five young girls several years ago have been hearing from members of his family.

His two daughters both said he was wonderful father and that they had never seen him behave inappropriately with any of their friends who stayed at their homes in Hinxworth, Ashwell and Guilden Morden.

Graham Pope, 66, of Thompsons Meadow, Guilden Morden, denies 18 charges of indecent assault between 1985 and 2000 on girls aged between seven and 13 years.

The prosecution alleged that while Pope treated his children's friends to fun activities, he would then use bedtimes and bath times as an opportunity to touch them indecently.

He has told police and the jury that nothing indecent happened and that he was the victim of a vendetta by another girl, who had put the girls up to making the allegations.

On Monday, his daughters, aged 17 and 24, and his wife, Cherie, told the jury that he was an excellent father and family man.

His youngest daughter said; "These things could not have happened without me knowing. All my friends were treated equally and I never saw or heard him say anything which gave me cause for concern."

His older daughter was asked: "Did you ever see anything in your father's behaviour towards any child which caused you any concern?"

She said: "No, nothing whatsoever. He was a good fun dad, always good to have around. My friends enjoyed him being there."

His wife Cherie said they had been happily married for 30 years. She said, in truth, she found the sleepovers "a bit of a pain, a chore", and her husband would get the girls to go to sleep so that they could eat in peace.

She said sometimes the girls would have fun baths and ask him to bring trays of "cocktails" like a waiter, which he would do, but would not stay in the bathroom with them.

The case continues

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