Man denies abusing girl

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

A man has denied sexually assaulting and spanking a 12-year-old girl.

Andrew Cairns, 36, of Robinson Street, Fulwood, Preston, is accused of seven counts of sexually touching the youngster and is on trial at Preston Crown Court.

The jury was told the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had first made the claims to her mother during a caravan holiday but then retracted it and said they were untrue.

The girl's mother, giving evidence in the witness stand, said: " I was in shock. I asked her why she had said those things.

"She said: 'I don't know Mum.'"

Defending, Sharon Watson asked her if she was aware the youngster had been visited by police and social workers at her school, and had told them she had "made it up".

The girl's mum said she was aware of the meeting.

The court was told on a later date, the girl had visited her mother at her business one afternoon after school and told her Cairns had "smacked her bottom."

The girl's aunt also gave evidence to the jury about the same afternoon.

Prosecuting, Nick Kennedy said: "Were you aware before that afternoon of an allegation she had made?"

She began to cry as she replied: "My sister was very upset.

"I was upset, wanting to know what was happening and what was going on."

She admitted she had got angry with the girl after quizzing her about what was said during the meeting at school, to which the girl had replied: "Nothing."

Later the same day her niece revealed Cairns had "smacked her", and she said she had grabbed the girl and shook her to stop her walking away.

She added: "I said what has he done, tell me what he's done?"

Cairns shook his head in the dock as she described one of the allegations.

The court heard when the family had later confronted Cairns he replied: "That's sick, why is she doing this?"

(proceeding)