Ex Tower worker takes to the witness stand to deny raping and abusing youngsters

Crown Court
Crown Court

A former Blackpool Tower worker as told a court he could not have carried out alleged sexual offences because he was working evenings at the venue.

Harry Anthony Collier, 63, of Mythop Road, Blackpool, is accused of a string of 24 historical charges against two girls and a woman including rape, indecent assault and gross indecency.

Co-defendant Paul Snedker, 57, of no fixed abode, is accused of 10 sexual offences including attacking a woman over a period in the late 70s into the 80s at Blackpool and Sheffield, and raping a young girl in Blackpool - and Collier faces an additional charge of abetting him to rape a youngster.

Both men are on trial at Preston Crown Court accused of sexual attacks in the 1970s and 80s.

It is alleged Collier indecently assaulted the first complainant when she was between the ages of four and nine.

Collier denies a further charge of raping a woman in Blackpool in 1988, and in relation to a second child, denies rape, indecent assault, taking indecent photographs of her, inciting her to commit gross indecency, and helping his co-defendant attack her.

He took to the witness stand at Preston Crown Court, which was previously told he would take one girl to a house in Blackpool where Paul Snedker and others would be present.

It is alleged she would be provided with cider or white pills before being taken to a bedroom and abused while additional people would be present - either friends of Collier from the pub or people he had met through his use of a CB radio.

Defending, Judith McCulloch asked: "Did you own CB radio or use anyone else's?"

He replied: "No."

He told the court he would spend each day walking on the Promenade, getting back around 5pm and having tea, before leaving at 6pm for his employment as a glass collector.

(proceeding)