A MAN has appeared in court to stand trial for more than a dozen historic sex offences.

Stephen Gallagher took to the witness box at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday to deny 14 charges including rape, indecent assault, and sexual activity with a child. 

The defendant, of Normandy Avenue, Colchester, denies four counts of rape of a girl under 13, three counts of indecent assault on a girl under 14, and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

Gallagher, 58, also denies one count of sexual assault on a female, one count of an indecent assault on a girl under 16, one count of raping a girl under 16, and two counts of assaulting a girl under 13 by touching.

Gazette: Denied – Stephen Gallagher denies all the allegations against himDenied – Stephen Gallagher denies all the allegations against him (Image: Archant)

The alleged victims were cross-examined by police in October 2023, the court heard.

The jury watched Gallagher use a walking stick to make his way to the dock where he faced questions from defence barrister John Caudle.

Gallagher told the court he had been diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, and had fractured his spine in 2011 after he was involved in a car accident.

He said: “When a car drove into the side of me, it damaged my spine, so I was in hospital for three weeks.

“A carer comes in the morning to help me get washed and dressed.”

Mr Caudle then asked Gallagher whether he had co-operated with the police when he was arrested on suspicion of the offences.

He asked: “Were you trying to help police as best you could with what was going on?

“Were you telling them the truth?”

Gallagher said he was, and told the jury none of the allegations he is facing are true.

Gazette: Decision – the jury is expected to retire next weekDecision – the jury is expected to retire next week (Image: Newsquest)

When asked about raising his children as a single father, he said: “I didn’t find it hard, as such.

“Cooking for seven people isn’t any harder than cooking for one – you’re still using one saucepan.”

Mr Caudle asked: “The alleged victim says you repeatedly raped her over a long period of time.

“Did you rape ever rape her or have sexual intercourse with her.”

Gallagher replied: “No.”

The trial continues.