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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 15:01 GMT
Children's author on rape charges
Books on a shelf
Mr Mayne received the Carnegie Medal for one of his many books
An award-winning children's author has appeared in court accused of raping a young girl.

William Mayne, 75, was charged with 15 offences relating to eight alleged female victims.

Mr Mayne, of Parson Hill, Thornton Rust, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, is accused of two counts of rape against a girl under 13.

Teesside Crown Court heard on Friday that he is also charged with 13 counts of indecent assault.

30-year trilogy

The writer - a former winner of the prestigious Carnegie Medal for his book A Grass Rope - was released on bail.

His trial is due to start on 8 March next year.

The charges date back to offences alleged to have taken place during the 1960s and early 1970s.

Mr Mayne has written a number of books revolving around the legend of King Arthur.

His trilogy Earthfasts, Cradlefasts and Candlefasts took more than 30 years to complete.

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