Ex-Storey Arms centre boss denies indecent assault on camping trip

Published
Image caption,
Robert Pugh ran the Storey Arms outdoor education centre in the Brecon Beacons

A former head of an outdoor activity centre was "fought off" by a child he tried to indecently assault in a tent, a court has heard.

Robert Pugh, 75, who ran the Storey Arms centre in the Brecon Beacons, denies indecently assaulting a boy on a camping trip to England in the 1980s.

His accuser, who cannot be identified, has denied being a "fantasist".

Cardiff Crown Court heard the incident allegedly took place overnight.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said it was an "obvious attempt" by Mr Pugh, of Pontcanna in Cardiff, to indecently "touch" the boy while he was asleep.

The court heard this happened on a camping trip to an English National Park organised by the Storey Arms outdoor education centre - part of Cardiff council's education service since 1971.

Mr Pugh informed the boy he would be sharing a tent with him for the night, jurors heard.

Image source, Geograph/Jaggery
Image caption,
Storey Arms Outdoor Activity Centre has been part of Cardiff council's education service since 1971

Mr Pugh "lurched over from the right, hands straight down my sleeping bag, and that's when the fight started and I fought him off", his accuser said.

He claimed Mr Pugh had touched him intimately.

He said the reason he had come to court to give evidence was because he was worried "other people might not have been as strong as me, that's why I'm here".

The court heard the following morning the boy had complained to another member of staff about what had happened, but he did not confront Mr Pugh because he was the "boss man".

He said he confided in his friends too about what happened and telephoned Mr Pugh decades after the alleged incident - but on that occasion Mr Pugh said he had no recollection of it.

Timothy Evans, defending, said the accuser was a "fantasist" and that he was "making things up" - claims the accuser has denied.

North Wales Police had no record of any complaint from the alleged victim about Mr Pugh in the early 2000s and then chose not to prosecute Mr Pugh when the accuser lodged a complaint several years later.

Mr Evans told the accuser that "at no stage did Mr Pugh deliberately put his hands down your leggings or pyjamas".

He responded by saying Mr Pugh had been trying to "grab" him intimately.

The trial continues.