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Former BBC WM presenters Tony and Julie Wadsworth ' indecently assaulted under-age boys', court hears

Crime | Published:

Two former BBC WM radio presenters indecently assaulted under-age boys in parkland after taking delight in having outdoor sex in front of children as young as 11, a court has heard.

Tony and Julie Wadsworth arrive at Warwick Crown Court

Husband-and-wife Tony and Julie Wadsworth are alleged to have encouraged seven boys, including a teenager looking for a golf ball, to take part in sexual activity in wooded areas of Warwickshire between 1992 and 1996.

Julie Wadsworth, 60, and her 69-year-old husband, from Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, deny indecent assault and outraging public decency by having sex against a tree in full view of boys.

Opening the case against the couple, prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said they were known to the public as Wadsworth and Mayer (Julie's on-air surname) and had worked at the BBC's former studios at Pebble Mill, Birmingham.

Alleging that Mrs Wadsworth had engaged in numerous sex acts with boys in parkland while her husband acted as a look-out, Miss Moore told jurors the broadcaster had admitted engaging in "hanky panky" with him while outdoors.

Outlining the prosecution case at Warwick Crown Court, Miss Moore said: "Not only did they have sex in the open but they did it in the open knowing and taking delight in the fact that young lads were watching, and they encouraged the young lads to view the sexual encounters.

"The boys at the time were all too young by law to be participants in any sort of sexual activity.

"(Tony) was there to watch in line of sight usually ... to act as a look-out or 'minder' for Julie."

Mr Wadsworth - who has presented shows with his wife on BBC Radio Leicester and Birmingham-based BBC WM - is alleged to be guilty of indecent assault in the same way that an intruder's look-out would be guilty of burglary.

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Alleging that Mr Wadsworth acted as an early warning system for his partner, Miss Moore told the jury of seven men and five women: "She had sexual activity with these young boys again and again.

"He must have realised exactly what his wife was up to.

"He was there, positioned close enough to be seen and close enough to warn. Sometimes it was he who called a halt - he was effectively calling the shots."

On one occasion, the court heard, an alleged victim was "spooked" by Mr Wadsworth standing nearby with a camera around his neck.

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Jurors were told Mrs Wadsworth reacted to the boy's concerns by telling her husband to "go away for a walk".

Miss Moore alleged that two "tranches" of victims emerged after a complainant went on a child protection course and realised what had taken place in the 1990s "was not right and not appropriate".

One alleged victim came forward after hearing a news report about two presenters being charged with offences dating back to the 1990s.

The man then Googled details of the couple and recognised Mrs Wadsworth as "being the woman who had had a sexual encounter with him" when he was aged just 14.

Another alleged victim claims Mrs Wadsworth leaned out of a window and invited him into her then-home in Atherstone, passing him a note to "come back at three o'clock" when her husband would not be in.

He alleges that he had sex with Mrs Wadsworth on up to 15 occasions.

The court heard that both defendants denied any wrongdoing in police interviews.

During her interviews, Mrs Wadsworth said she knew the wooded area at the centre of the case and had been there for walks.

She told officers that "like a lot of people" she had "got a bit frisky" on the odd occasion and engaged in outdoor "hanky panky" with her husband to spice up their sex life.

Mrs Wadsworth told police it was possible people may have seen her but said she had no idea who the complainants were.

The trial was told that her husband told officers he had not had sex with his wife in view of boys and had never acted as a look-out.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.

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