Accused paedophile molested young girls in Ilford from 1972 to 1981, court hears

An accused paedophile from Ilford played strip poker with a nine-year-old girl then climbed on top of her to “show her what sex was”, a court heard today.

William Howard, now 71, molested the girl, together with two others aged nine or 10, during a campaign of abuse between July 1972 and January 1981, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

The court was told Howard told one girl to sit on his lap, insisting she kept it a secret.

The pensioner allegedly fondled the same girl and forced her to touch him at his home in Ilford, it is claimed.

The third victim claims Howard showed her how to “how to kiss a boy” and said if she told anyone she would be “in a lot of trouble”.

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The allegations came to light after one girl came forward in June 2010, and another said the same thing had happened to her.

The third girl made further claims towards the end of September last year, prosecutor Irshad Sheikh told the court.

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Referring to the girl Howard allegedly played strip poker with, Mr Sheikh said: “She remembered that between the ages of nine to 11 she was alone with the defendant in the lounge and that they were playing cards.

“She asked the defendant what strip poker was and the defendant taught her how to play the game.

“She remembered having to remove her clothing during the game.

“She then asked the defendant what sex was and he then said he would show her.”

Of the second victim, Mr Sheikh added: “She was about nine or ten years old when she recalled the defendant would get her to sit on his lap and touch her breasts, and tell her it was a secret.”

“She recalled one occasion when she was in bed and the defendant pulled her underwear and got on top but couldn’t recall any further detail.”

Howard attacked the third victim while giving her a lift home, said Mr Sheikh.

“She remembered the defendant would pull up and park near Eastern Avenue.

“On one occasion he stopped the car and asked her if she had a boyfriend.

“When she replied that she didn’t, he told her he would teach her how to kiss a boy.

“He told her to keep the matter a secret between them and said she was now his girlfriend, threatening her that if she was to reveal what happened she would be in a lot of trouble.”

Howard, the eldest of 12 children, was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault at his home in Great Yarmouth on August 17 last year.

He denied all the allegations against him and insisted he was not a paedophile.

Howard, of Ormesby, Great Yarmouth, denies three counts of indecency with a child and nine counts of indecent assault.

The trial continues.

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