Preston man, 80, accused of sex offences in the 1960s

A pensioner accused of a string of rapes and sexual offences against children, dating back more than 50 years, has appeared in the dock.

John Edward Brown, of Fir Trees Place, Ribbleton, Preston, is accused of a total of 21 allegations relating to three girls.

Preston's courts

Preston's courts

The complainants cannot be identified for legal reasons.

READ MORE: Lancashire's sex offender problem

Judge Simon Medland QC, sitting at Preston Crown Court, was told the 80-year-old defendant was currently staying in hospital under section 3 of the Mental Health Act.

Brown is accused of six rapes, eight counts of gross indecency, seven of indecent assault, dating back as far as 1968.

His trial date has been set for July 27.

A further case management hearing is expected to take place on March 31.