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- Weymouth councillor Ryan Hope is standing trial charged with eight sexual offences.
- These are- two counts of rape of a child under 13, one of which relates to multiple incidents, two counts of rape, one which relates to multiple incidents, two counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 and two counts of sexual assault, one of which is a multi-incident count.
- Hope, 22, denies all of the allegations.
- It is expected we will hear from the defence today.
Court has been dismissed and will resume at 10am tomorrow.
Another character witness, Hope's boss Nigel Pitman from firm FGP, has told the court that the allegations are 'completely out of character.'
He said Hope is 'well respected for a young lad.'
He said Hope had never behaved inappropriately at work.
A defence witness has now taken the stand. She is giving evidence about Hope's character. She said these allegations are 'purely ridiculous.'
Hope said: "I was shocked that these allegations had been made about me."
The court has heard there were 'a few occasions' when Hope and the alleged victim where alone.
Ms Aspinall-Miles said: "Wasn't it at these times you would rape him?"
Hope said 'no'.
Ms Aspinall-Miles asked Hope whether he was making up details to 'bolster' his defence.
Hope said he had lost his grandmother shortly before being interviewed and ' so some of the dates are a bit vague.'
Ms Aspinall-Miles is questioning hope about details he has said in court and not said in police interview.
She said the alleged vicitm was 'absolutely right' when he said he was scared of telling anyone.
Ms Aspinall-Miles said his friends were 'powerful enough' to 'put off suspending' him from the party.
Ms Aspinall-Miles put to Hope that he has 'powerful' and 'influential' friends in Weymouth.
Hope said he did not understand the question.
Hope said: "On a local council I don't think politics strongly comes in to it. I like to think of myself as a public figure."
Of Hope being suspended by the LD party, she said: "You want to give the impression that it was a joint decision and that isn't true is it?"
He is now being cross-examined by prosecutor Mary Aspinall-Miles.
She asked Hope: "Your career and public image is very important to you isnt it?"
Ms Aspinall-Miles said the local Weymouth and Portland Liberal Democrat party is under investigation by the national party.
He was asked by defence barrister Mark Ruffell: "What makes you tick?"
Hope said his days off 'are never his days off' because he is always doing something for someone else.
Hope is talking about how he is now an independent councillor due to the proceedings that are taking place.
He said that due to 'other parties', national press and Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock news stories the Liberal Democrats said he should stand as an independent so as not to 'damage' the party locally.
Hope is telling the court about the times he came in to contact with the alleged victim.
Hope said prior to the allegation he had never fallen out with the alleged victim and said he was 'a nice enough lad.'
Defence barrister Mark Ruffell is continuing to question Hope about his life and career.
Proceedings have resumed.
Hope has spoken about his apprenticeship in more detail and his work now.
Court has broken for lunch and will resume at 2pm.
Hope is talking about how he juggled school, working on a market stall and other commitments.
Hope is talking about his education.
He attended Budmouth College and said his interest in maths led to an apprenticeship.
Hope has now taken the stand.
One of the charges of sexual assault has been included with another charge of sexual assault, which will now become a mult-incident count.
This mean Hope now faces eight charges instead of nine.
Detective Chris Hurrell told the court that Hope was totally compiant with the investigation.
The prosecution's case has now ended.
Judge Wiggs is addressing the jury about the indictment. He said some 'tidying up' is needed and some dates of the charges have now been changed.
Proceedings have now resumed.
Of the alleged victim's allegations, Hope told the officer: "Nothing has ever happened."
The court has taken a short adjournment
The officer in the case has been called to give evidence.
Court has resumed this morning following yesterday's adjournment.