Wesham ex care worker accused of Preston children's home abuse takes to the witness stand

A man accused of abusing children while working Preston's Harris Children's Home has denied the allegations.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 4:55 am

Frederick Wilding, 81, of Wesham, was quizzed about allegations made by the first woman, who has since died, in which she claims he raped her.

Wilding, who became a house parent at the home through his wife Kathleen being employed there, is accused of abuse allegations involving three women and is on trial at Preston Crown Court.

The first woman's statement had said that she didn't see him after leaving the care home until 2000, and that she had made her first complaint three weeks later.

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Harris Children's Home

Taking to the witness stand, Wilding this it was not true because she had kept in touch with them, had lived locally and had even invited him and his wife to her wedding.

Defending, Beverly Hackett said: " My question to you is did you commit those rapes against her?"

He replied: " No."

Wilding told the court he first went to live at the home in the early 1970s when his wife was employed there and had worked at John Booth's foundry in Preston.

He left the home in the early 1980s because his wife had been seriously ill.

The court was told after he left he worked as a care assistant at Croft House Freckleton, at the Royal Preston Hospital as a porter for a decade, and at Sion House in Ribbleton as a care assistant for 15 years.

Asked about the allegations involving a second girl, he replied: " It didn't happen."