A TORRINGTON pensioner accused of 21 separate sex crimes against children has appeared at North Devon Magistrates’ Court this morning.
John Downing, 72, faced the court this morning wearing a light coloured suit and yellow tie.
He spoke only to confirm his name, age and address and enter not guilty pleas to all 21 charges.
Downing, of Water Lane, stared out of the window as Lynsey Baker, for the prosecution, told magistrates the details of the case.
He faces 21 charges in total, including five of indecent assault on the same boy, who was under the age of 14, between 1968 and 1974.
He also faces four allegations of committing an act of gross indecency with the same boy in the same time period.
It’s also alleged Downing carried out three separate indecent assaults on another boy aged under 14 between 1979 and 1982 and committed three acts of gross indecency with that boy during the same time.
Downing faces another charge of indecent assault on a third boy aged below 14, which is alleged to have taken place in 1975 or 1976.
He faces five more charges relating to a fourth boy, who it’s alleged Downing indecently assaulted between 1970 and 1975.
Downing will now face a hearing at Exeter Crown Court on September 20.