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Sheffield man goes on trial accused of historic sex offences

Neil Beeken, 54, went on trial at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, May 8, accused of seven sex offences
Neil Beeken, 54, went on trial at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, May 8, accused of seven sex offences

A Sheffield man has gone on trial accused of a string of historical sex offences, relating to the abuse of two girls under 13 and the rape of a woman.

Dressed in a green sweatshirt and jogging bottoms, Neil Beeken, 54, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, May 8 and entered not guilty pleas to a total of seven sex offences, alleged to have taken place in Sheffield between 1994 and 2011.

Opening the case, prosecutor, Paul O'Shea, told jurors how all three of Beeken's accusers reported him to police, after an article about him being convicted of sex offences was published in a newspaper in 2015.

None of Beeken's three alleged victims can be named for legal reasons.

Both of the girls allegedly abused by Beeken, some 12 years apart, were around the age of seven or eight when it began, the court heard.

The first offence Beeken is accused of relates to a count of indecency with Girl A in 1994, in which he is accused of exposing himself to her and of attempting to get her to perform a sex act on him.

Then, in July 1995 Beeken is alleged to have raped Woman A.

The five counts relating to Girl B are alleged to have taken place between 2006 and 2011.

Mr O'Shea said it is the Crown's case prior to his offending against Girl B starting, Beeken groomed the girl by telling her she was 'special' and by making her watch pornography.

"He committed a number of sexual offences against her which followed, the Crown say, an escalating level of seriousness," said Mr O'Shea.

He added: "The defendant says it's a pack of lies from every one of these ladies, and the reason why is because 'they've jumped on the bandwagon because I've been convicted of sexual offences'."

Jurors are due to see Beeken's alleged victims give evidence later this week.

Beeken, of HMP Lindholme, faces two counts of causing a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity, to two counts of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13, one count of the rape of a child under the age of 13, one count of indecency with a child and one count of rape.

The trial continues.