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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2004, 19:23 GMT
Author in court on rape charges
William Mayne
William Mayne is appearing at Teesside Crown Court
A children's author has appeared in court accused of sexually assaulting and raping young girls.

William Mayne, 76, has been charged with 15 offences committed between 1960 and 1975 involving eight girls aged between six and 16.

Mr Mayne, of Thornton Rust, Leyburn, North Yorkshire denies all charges.

His books include the Earthfasts, Cradlefasts and Candlefasts trilogy.

Summer holidays

Teesside Crown Court heard on Tuesday from a woman, now in her 50s, who says she was raped by Mr Mayne on two occasions and abused several times,

She said Mr Mayne befriended her and she spent several summer holidays at his home.

Describing the attacks, she said: "It was so horrific, so unpleasant, so disgusting, so abhorrent."

The prosecution says the girls became fascinated by the author who often included them in his writings.

One contacted the police in 1999.

It was decided not to proceed with the case but more complainants came forward in 2003 and charges were brought.

William Mayne won the Carnegie Medal for children's literature in 1957.

The trial is continuing.

Children's author on rape charges
07 Nov 03  |  North Yorkshire

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