A RETIRED agricultural engineer has denied abusing three young girls while they were visiting his smallholding in the 1980s and 1990s.
Kenneth Tucker, aged 86, said he had never touched any child inappropriately and said some of the girls had never even visited his property at the time of the alleged attacks.
The wheelchair bound ex farmer from Rackenford said he could only remember the girls making very occasional visits and that they had not stayed for as long as they claimed.
He also denied taking them to shops in Tiverton to buy them sweets and treats. He said allegations that he raped one girl in a partially refurbished bathroom when she was just 11 were untrue.
Tucker, of Rackenford, denies rape and four indecent assaults against one girl, and three indecent assaults against two others.
Two of the alleged victims have told the jury the assaults happened when they were having breaks in the country with him and his wife Mary in the late 1980s or early 1990s.
One girl says he abused her and her sister and the abuse ended with him raping her in a bathroom after threatening to hurt her sister if she did not comply.
She said Tucker had also showed her an axe on a woodpile in his yard and told her he would kill and bury her and her sister if they revealed what he was doing and they would never see their family again.
She said much of the abuse happened when Mary Tucker was away fetching eggs in the morning and Tucker played ‘tickling games’ with her and her sister.
The other girl alleged Tucker touched her sexually while putting her to bed at nights.
Tucker could not go into the witness box at Exeter Crown Court because he is wheelchair bound and almost blind.
He was wheeled to the front of the court and repeatedly tapped his white stick on the ground as he emphasised his denials.
He said the girls’ accounts could not be correct because there were no spare rooms at his home at the time they said they had visited it.
There had never been an upstairs bathroom, he had never kept an axe in the yard, and never gone shopping with any of the girls.
He said his wife was always at home with him, he had been married to her for 63 years, and they were inseparable.
He rejected all the allegations of sexual abuse. He said: “I can remember one of the girls coming in and sitting on my bed once but I threw her out because I had to get dressed.
“At the time I often got up first. I would get up at 5am and start working if it was light. I cannot remember throwing the girls in the air as they suggest.
“I am certain I did not touch the children in any way. No, it did not happen. The incident in the bathroom definitely did not happen.
“I certainly would not touch the girl in the way she said. She was a child. They are saying I did things which I would not dream of doing.”