A JURY heard how a man accused of committing sex offences against children had allegedly previously been threatened by one of his alleged victims.

David Gardner, 79, of Newberry Road, Weymouth, is standing trial at Dorchester Crown Court where he denies four counts of indecency with a child and three counts of indecent assault against a child.

Separate allegations have been made by a man and woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons.

The incidents are alleged to have taken place in the 1980s in Gardner’s former newsagent shop in High West Street, Weymouth. The alleged female victim, who would have been in her mid-teens at the time, claims Gardner indecently assaulted her on multiple occasions at the shop.

Anne Brown, representing Gardner, cross-examined the alleged female victim at court yesterday.

Ms Brown told the court there had been an incident during the time of said allegations where the alleged victim had run into the store and thrown a note at Gardner, suggesting he could engage in sexual activity with her.

In a statement to the police in 2002, Gardner said he was unsure why she made this inappropriate suggestion.

Speaking to the alleged victim, Ms Brown said: “He and his friends laughed at this note and he became fed up of your turning up, begging, bad behaviour and he said you should stay away from the shop.”

Ms Brown suggested the alleged victim responded angrily, threatening to get back at Gardner even if it took time. The alleged female victim denied this incident and said: “I would suggest you are grasping at straws.”

The prosecution is expected to close its case today when the trial continues.