Boy’s Brigade leader takes the stand in abuse trial

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A BOYS’ Brigade leader accused of abusing children has admitted giving one of them massages while the child was naked.

Terence Cawte is accused of molesting two young boys when he was captain of the Leigh Park Boys’ Brigade between the 1970s and 1990s.

The married father-of-three claims not to remember one of the boys but told the jury the second child visited him at his home a number of times.

Asked by Robert Bryan, prosecuting, if he thought it was normal to massage a naked eight-year-old boy Cawte replied: ‘I never really thought about it in any sexual way at all.’

Cawte told the jury at Portsmouth Crown Court he and the boy would give each other massages and while the boy would be naked he would be wearing underwear.

Cawte claims the boy once molested him during a massage.

He said: ‘I told him off.

‘I said “I think this is the time to stop because I don’t want that sort of thing and you should not be involved in anything like that”.’

Asked if he told the boy’s parents about the incident, Cawte said: ‘No, when a boy misbehaves in the Boys’ Brigade you deal with it instantly and don’t tell the parents.’

Mr Bryan said: ‘You had been grooming this boy from a very early age hadn’t you?’

‘No,’ he replied. ‘You sexually abused him didn’t you?’ Mr Bryan said. ‘No I didn’t,’ he replied.

The 74-year-old is accused of abusing the boys at his home in Waterlooville and at his former bookshop, The Portsmouth Christian Book Centre, in New Road, North End.

Cawte, of Maytree Gardens, Waterlooville, denies five multiple incident counts of indecent assault on a male, one of indecency with a child and two other sexual offences.