A COVENTRY man is among 12 who stand accused of a series of sex offences – most of them against the same teenage boy.
The trial of the 12, whose ages range from 24 to 78, at Warwick Crown Court is expected to last for 10-12 weeks – with a one-week break for Easter, the jury was told after it was sworn in.
The trial will involve a total of 56 charges, all but five of which involve various alleged offences against two named boys who were in their early teens.
Most of the charges relate to one boy who was said to have been subjected to sexual abuse in 2009 and 2010 when he was under the age of 16.
Stephen Kelly (39) of Elm Road, Bourneville, Birmingham, has denied arranging or facilitating child prostitution, as well as sexual offences against him.
Wheelchair-bound Kevan Tudor (55) has pleaded not guilty to offences of raping the boy and to charges of penetrative sexual activity with him.
Darren Clegg (28) of Hillside Drive, Great Barr, denies taking part in sexual activity with the boy on a date in December 2009, as does Peter Joynes (58) of Canberra Way, Highgate, Birmingham, who also denies arranging or facilitating the child prostitution of the teenager.
Of the 12 defendants, Tahir Hussain (34) of St Josephs Road, Ward End, Birmingham, faces the largest number of charges, including trafficking for sexual exploitation and six of arranging or facilitating child prostitution, all relating to the same boy.
He has also denied a number of other charges of rape and sexual activity with the boy.
Ronald Potter (78) of Tippers Lane, Fillongley, Coventry, has denied arranging or facilitating the child prostitution of that boy, raping him and taking part in sexual activity with him, as well as two charges of indecently assaulting another boy in 2001 to 2002.
Six other men, Peter Lowe, Ian Prestleton, Alan Priest, Ashley Sherrington, Robert Bailey and Michael Godbold, also deny arranging or facilitating the child prostitution of the first boy in 2010 and taking part in raping him.
Lowe (68) of Salisbury Close, Moseley, Birmingham, and Prestleton (54) of High Haddon Road, Cradley Heath, also face other charges including sexual activity with the boy.
Priest (63) of Haywood Bridge, Halesowen, and Sherrington (24) of Dawlish Drive, Bentley, Stoke-on-Trent, deny charges of penetrative sexual activity with the boy, as does Bailey (27) of Watt Road, Erdington, Birmingham, who also denies sexual activity in the presence of the boy and making indecent images.
And Godbold (57) of Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush, London, faces other charges of penetrative sexual activity with the boy, making indecent images, possessing an imitation firearm, and four of possessing drugs including cocaine and ecstasy.
As well as swearing 12 jury members, a further six were selected to remain until the trial actually gets under way, with two of them remaining until prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC has concluded her opening.