A WEST Cumbrian pensioner who worked in local theatres and ran his own recording studio has gone on trial accused of multiple child sex offences.

Paul Stuart Adams, 74, who worked at theatres in Whitehaven and Workington, has denied 15 sexual allegations, including multiple counts of paying for the sexual services of a child and sexual assaults on teenage boys.

Prosecutors say there were two victims.

Opening the case at Carlisle Crown Court, prosecutor Robert Wyn Jones gave the jury a detailed outline of the prosecution case, which involves allegations relating to the defendant’s behaviour towards two teenagers.

The first, said Mr Wyn Jones, got to know Adams through various theatre groups in Whitehaven and Workington. “The defendant worked in the theatre and offered to help [the boy] with his aspiring acting career,” said the barrister.

The teenager would visit Adams – a married man – at his home, though those visits happened when the defendant’s wife was not there.

“On those visits,” said Mr Wyn Jones, “the defendant would give [the boy] whiskey and offer [him] acting advice. He said he had connections with the BBC.”

The boy trusted Adams. But the teenager had problems with drugs – alcohol, cocaine and ecstasy, Mr Wyn Jones told the jury.

The barrister said the defendant, of Banklands, Workington, asked the teenager how he would feel about being naked on stage if a script required it.

Adams persisted in trying to persuade the boy to strip to “show that he could do it” and eventually the boy agreed, said Mr Wyn Jones. The defendant began to regularly pay the teenager £50 to strip naked – money he used to pay for drugs. In this and other ways, the jury heard, Adams 'groomed' the boy.

The jury heard that Adams paid the teenager sums of between £100 and £200 so he could touch him sexually or get him to strip naked.

Of the alleged victim, the barrister said the teenager was vulnerable and Adams preyed on this and took advantage of his problems.

The court heard that the second alleged victim came forward after a report about Adams’ court case was published in the News & Star. Mr Wyn Jones said that boy had no connection with the first alleged victim.

“He was very shocked and felt he had to disclose to his mother and then the police what had happened to him.”

This teenager also, the jury heard, was given acting advice by the defendant and feels he was groomed.

“He was given beer, although he was too young to be drinking,” said Mr Wyn Jones. The defendant would talk to the boy about his sexuality and showed him video pornography during a visit to his home recording studio.

One alleged sexual assault happened after the defendant gave the boy a lift and parked his car in a layby near Whitehaven, the jury heard.

When the defendant was arrested, a computer was seized from his home and it contained evidence of an interest in naked men and spanking. Adams said the first boy did strip in his house, but it was 'his decision.'

He said he knew the teenager was addicted to drugs and that he occasionally lent him money. Adams said he knew the second boy, but he denied ever sexually abusing him.

Six of the 15 charges faced by the defendant relate to two 'child' victims – either paying a child for sexual services – or indecent assaults on a child; and three of those five charges are specimen counts relating to multiple alleged incidents.

The remaining nine charges are sexual assaults.

The trial continues.

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