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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2006, 19:05 GMT
Groping was 'a fatherly gesture'
Mike McCartney outside Chester Crown Court
Mike McCartney denies the allegation
The former singer of 1960s pop group The Scaffold has dismissed allegations that he groped a waitress as being "absolute nonsense".

Mike McCartney, 61, is accused of sexually assaulting the 16-year-old girl at a family party in a pub in Wirral, Merseyside, in September 2004.

Mr McCartney, of Park West, Heswall, allegedly touched her bottom as he asked for more prawns, the court heard.

At Chester Crown Court he said it was a "fatherly gesture" to thank her.

The jury heard a 20-minute recording of Mr McCartney's interview with police in which he repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

I do that as a thank you, like a dad would do to his daughters,
Mike Mcartney
He said: "I put a hand on her back as I would do to my daughters, it is a normal thing I have done all my life.

"I do that as a thank you, like a dad would do to his daughters, a thank you, a fatherly gesture to a young girl."

The photographer, who has six children, described the allegations as "wicked".

"I absolutely categorically deny that," he said.

"That's absolute nonsense and very, very wrong."

He said when he was confronted by the pub's manager, he thought he was being set up as part of a television hoax.

Sallie Bennett-Jenkins, defending Mr McCartney, accepted that her client reacted with "shock, anger and disbelief" at the allegations.

He is due to give evidence on Friday.

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