Landlord in sex assault case

New landlord at the Strawberry Gardens, Fleetwood, Gary Ball
New landlord at the Strawberry Gardens, Fleetwood, Gary Ball
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A PUB landlord is alleged to have sexually assaulted three women.

Gary Ball, the former licensee of the Strawberry Gardens Hotel, in Fleetwood, was accused of “not being able to keep his hands to himself” by the prosecution at the start of a trial at Preston Crown Court.

But he told the court the accusations were “absolute rubbish” and claims the alleged victims have made things up.

The 48-year-old denies six charges of sexual assault.

Some of the allegations date back to December 17, 2009.

Richard Haworth, prosecuting, said Ball pinched the bottom of a woman in her 30s and went on to ask her about her sex life.

He allegedly became more explicit, and is said to have suggested they have sex.

On that same date, it is claimed he touched a 16-year-old girl indecently.

Ball told police the women were telling lies about him.

Mr Haworth told the court: “The defendant simply couldn’t leave sexual offending alone.”

The third allegation relates to a woman in June last year. Ball told police he had behaved perfectly properly.

The prosecution suggest at no stage could the defendant have reasonably thought the women were consenting.

Mr Haworth added “The defendant says ‘absolute rubbish’. The first two have fabricated malicious lies against him.

“He says the third female is a liar and making it up.”

Mr Haworth also told the jury “There is a head on collision between what the complainants say on the one hand and what the defendant says on the other hand.

“He says lightening has struck three times. The Crown says this is a man who simply cannot keep his hands to himself”.

n The Strawberry Gardens now has a new licensee.

(Proceeding)