A jury has been told to keep emotion out of its deliberations as it retires to consider its verdict in the trial of Paul Boardman.
Boardman denies 46 sexual offences against young boys dating back to the 1990s with many of the charges specimen counts, reflecting a pattern of alleged abuse over a number of years.
During a two week trial at Manchester Crown Court, Boardman, of no fixed address, has been accused of grooming, indecency and rape of the boys at the flat he lived at in Ingol.
The court has heard accounts of Boardman taking the boys on trips to Blackpool and Alton Towers and out with him in the lorry he drove.
Some of his alleged victims claimed they had been abused outside, while walking Boardman’s dogs. Others said offences had taken place in the changing rooms of the public swimming baths and on camping trips.
Boardman, 55, has previous sexual convictions, but Sharon Watson, defending, said; “From the moment the allegations are read into the record it may be that some of your number straight away started to have certain thoughts about what type of person could even be accused of these horrendous acts and it may be that views started to be formed at the very early stage before one bit of evidence had been heard.”
But Miss Watson warned the jury: “It is always important to keep emotion out of criminal trials and it is particularly important in cases such as this.
“It is crucial that the evidence is examined analytically and objectively, with a clear head and an objective eye.”
Miss Watson asked the jury to consider the evidence of each witness, asking whether the evidence was reliable and credible. She said: “It is not a line of dominoes where the first count leads to the second and then the third and so on.”
She highlighted the difficulties which arise out of the passage of time between the alleged offences and the case coming to court.
The jury was asked to consider that the boys did not report the abuse at the time it was alleged to have taken place and that they had returned to Boardman’s flat - where they were allowed to drink, smoke and play on computer games, time after time.
The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict today.