Aerial fitter denies assault

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A SELF-employed TV aerial fitter has denied claims he drugged an elderly woman and then sexually assaulted her in her Blackpool home.

Darren Penfold gave evidence in his Preston Crown Court trial and insisted the allegations were not true.

He told the jury: “To this day I can’t get over being accused of doing that to somebody.”

He also spoke of feeling “absolutely mortified” when allegations were put to him by police in January last year.

The 48-year-old of North Drive, Cleveleys, denies sexual assault or intentionally administering a substance with the intent to stupefy someone to engage in sexual activity.

The defendant, who has been an aerial satellite TV installer for 25 years, said he had done work on the woman’s home and had gone back to speak to her about collecting some TV’s she wanted disposed of. He said the woman invited him in and said she was having a drink and asked if he wanted one too.

He drank Southern Comfort and lemonade. He said at one stage he went upstairs to use the toilet, but never went into a bedroom.

Penfold said the woman was tired and said she wanted to go to sleep. He told the court he said ‘no problem’ and left, closing the door behind him.

Penfold said he could not explain how stupefying drugs BZP and TFMPP had got into the woman’s glass.