Richard Staves, 97, has gone on trial accused of a sequence of assaults in opposition to girl whereas nonetheless in his 90s (Image: SWNS)
A Second World Warfare veteran accused of sexually assaulting 5 ladies has claimed he was too outdated to be involved in intercourse, a trial has heard.
Former Royal Marine Richard Staves, 97, focused the ladies in the identical alleyway between June 2016 and February 2018, a jury was informed.
He’s accused of groping their breasts and thighs whereas attempting to kiss them. A court docket heard one sufferer was so shaken she modified her path to work.
One other mentioned she was pinned in opposition to a wall as he rubbed his penis on her and tried to kiss her, whereas a 3rd sufferer described him touching her vagina.
The fourth sufferer mentioned he repeatedly groped her whereas the fifth mentioned she fled in tears after he grabbed her and tried to kiss her.
However taking to the witness stand, Staves mentioned he must be discovered harmless as he was now not involved in intercourse at his age and was simply being overfriendly.
The defendant informed the court docket he felt lonely after the demise of his spouse and would converse to ladies who walked in Jail Lane in Exeter, Devon.
He claimed he typically held on to their arms or shoulders for help to stroll up the steep lane close to his residence, however denied any touching was sexual.
Defending himself in court docket, Richard Staves, 97, claimed he was too outdated to be involved in intercourse (Image: SWNS)
He informed the court docket: ‘There was by no means any sexual cause. My intercourse life has left me for a really very long time.’
He added: ‘I conversed with anyone. I’m very old school. I contact them in a pleasant approach. I used no drive. That may be utterly in opposition to my nature.
‘I could have put an arm round their shoulder in a pleasant method. I don’t recall touching any breasts.
‘I could have kissed them, but when so, it was a pleasant peck on their left cheek. I may need been over pleasant with a lady who I sat with on a bench on the backside of the lane but it surely was not for a sexual cause.
‘I in all probability put my hand on her leg to stress one thing.’
The prosecution claimed Staves would inform his victims sob tales about his lifeless spouse and say how lonely he was to construct up their belief earlier than sexually assaulting them.
Opening the trial, Richard Crabb, prosecuting, mentioned many of the alleged victims didn’t initially report Staves to the police, however later learn a Fb publish about an aged man attacking ladies.
They then went to the police to share their experiences.
All of the victims say they have been left deeply shaken by the assaults dedicated by Staves between the ages of 93 and 95.
The trial continues.
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