BREAKING: Three former Blackpool Salvation Army members deny historic sexual abuse of two children

Blackpool Citadel
Blackpool Citadel
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Jurors in the case of three former Salvation Army officers - including a father and son - accused of historic sexual abuse have retired to consider their verdicts.

The men were all based at the Blackpool Salvation Army Citadel in Blackpool's Raikes Parade at the time of the alleged offences.

Between them they deny a string of 23 sexual allegations relating to two youngsters, and are on trial at Preston Crown Court.

Some allegations date back more than 40 years.

Trevor Worthington, 88, of Mayfield Avenue, Thornton, denies indecent assault and attempted rape.

His son Philip Worthington, 64, of Warwick Place, Blackpool, faces charges of attempted rape, gross indecency and nine counts of indecent assault.

William Tompkinson, 70, of Raleigh Drive, South Shore, Blackpool - a married man who had been the treasurer of the Citadel - is accused of 10 offences of indecent assault in the early 1970s.

Earlier in the case Richard Haworth, prosecuting, said the first alleged victim was sexually abused by the defendants from the age of 11.

Tompkinson is accused of fondling the girl during a van journey with the seriousness of his acts progressing over time during car journeys.

When the girl turned 13 it is alleged Philip Worthington, who was also married, started abusing her, giving her lifts in his red sports car.

Mr Haworth said when she turned 16 he tried to rape her, adding: " This was the high watermark of his sexual abuse."

It is alleged when the girl turned to Trevor Worthington to confide in him about the abuse by the other two men he perpetrated abuse on her in his car.

Another complainant came forward when the matters were being investigated by Lancashire Police.

Mr Haworth said: " Philip Worthington would approach her from behind, grab her and molest her. This carried on for a number of years, culminating in an incident on a car park when he sexually assaulted her."

Judge Robert Altham summed up evidence in the case before the jury retired.

(proceeding)