A frail Scarborough pensioner has appeared in court over historic child abuse claims.
At Scarborough Magistrates’ Court, Ronald Bartholomew defiantly entered a not guilty plea to a dozen charges.
Those charges centre around claims that he indecently assaulted two underage girls almost 40 years ago.
The 67-year-old hobbled into the courtroom on a walking stick.
The case had to be stood down while a hearing loop was installed, after he complained he couldn’t hear proceedings properly.
He will now go on trial over 250 miles away in Maidstone, Kent after the bench told him the allegations were too serious to be dealt with by magistrates.
No plea was entered by Bartholomew, although his solicitor Ian Brickman told the court that his client claims that he doesn’t even know the alleged victims.
The Crown allege that Bartholomew, of Overdale in Eastfield, committed several attacks on underage girls in the Kent area.
The charges stem back to attacks allegedly committed as long ago as 1977, and then carried out over a six-year period.
He has been charged with multiple counts of indecent assault.
He also faces a sole charge of sexually assaulting one of his victims without her consent.
At last Thursday’s hearing, the defendant appeared frail throughout, breathing heavily at various points as he appeared to clutch the side of his stomach.
Magistrates granted him conditional bail until February 26, when he will appear at Maidstone Crown Court.
That bail prohibits him from having unsupervised contact with any child aged under 16.
“These matters are going to be heard by the crown court in Maidstone where you will be on February 26,” said the bench. “If you do not attend a warrant will be issued for your arrest.”