Pensioner accused of molesting children
Date published: 05 November 2013
AN Oldham grandfather has gone on trial charged with more than 20 offences of sexually molesting young girls.
Pensioner Colin Bland (71) pleads not guilty to indecently assaulting three youngsters — one allegedly only three years old when first targeted.
Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court was told most of the offences took place under the guise of playing tickling games. His touching had at first been over the girls’ clothing, but as time went on, it is alleged his offending worsened.
Bland, of Elm Road, pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of sexual assault, nine of indecent assault, and a single count of assault by penetration.
The court was told he has consistently maintained his innocence — claiming the youngsters, all now in their teens, are lying.
Justin Hayhoe, prosecuting, said the majority of the offences were similar in nature and many of the charges were representative of behaviours over several years.
One of the victims says she was abused by the 71 year old over a period of seven to eight years.
The jury will hear evidence from all three of the girls, by secure video-link during the trial which is expected to last until the end of this week.