Child rape accused from Barry rejects abuse claims

Published
Image caption,
Avril and Peter Griffiths have denied a string of charges from the 1980s and 90s

A man accused of child rape said he was disgusted by his behaviour - but denied sexual abuse and indecency claims.

Peter Griffiths, 65, and wife Avril Griffiths, 61, from Barry, Vale of Glamorgan have been likened to "the Fred and Rose West" of their estate.

The couple have denied a string of charges from the 1980s and 90s at their trial in Cardiff Crown Court.

Mr Griffiths admitted to having sex with one of the complainants, but said she was older than 16 at the time.

Giving evidence in his defence on Wednesday, Mr Griffiths also denied that the complainant was held down by Avril Griffiths while he had sex with her.

He added that he felt "disgusted" with what he had done, and said he had changed "his whole attitude towards life."

Image source, Wales News Service
Image caption,
Peter and Avril Griffiths are on trial at Cardiff Crown Court

One complainant told the court she was raped by Mr Griffiths in a van they owned, which looked like the van on the US TV action drama The A Team.

The court heard Mr Griffiths owned a vehicle altered to look like TV series van, and the vehicle had appeared in an S4C drama.

He told jurors S4C installed seats in the back of the van, which he kept and used to ferry holidaymakers to his fishing boat, where he would take them on trips.

The court has heard that Avril and Peter Griffiths groomed and abused young girls in their home, on a boat and in the van.

Mr Griffiths has denied one of the complainants' suggestions that he had a camera installed in a ceiling.

He also denied providing "anything other than fishing rods and drinks" when asked by defence barrister David Etherington QC.

Asked if "sex parties" were held on the boat, he said: "never."

Image caption,
The trial is being held at Cardiff Crown Court

Mr Griffiths said he arranged for his wife and another witness to act as kissograms for a crew member leaving the pilot boat the George Ray.

He added that one of the complainants was also at the party but that she was "all over" one of the boat crew members.

On Tuesday, Mr Griffiths told the court he left the complainant on the boat when she refused to leave.

In medical and social service records read to jurors, the complainant alleged she was also involved in a "wife swapping" club on a boat in Barry.

Mr Griffiths said his accusers may be making up the allegations to claim compensation in a police interview.

The defendants were arrested more than a decade ago and questioned in Barry.

But the court was told on Wednesday that none of the original files, records or photographs from the original police investigation could be recovered.

Earlier in proceedings, the foreman of the jury was directed by the judge to find the defendants not guilty on count 11, an allegation that they took indecent photographs of a child.

The court heard there was now insufficient evidence to support the allegation.

Avril Griffiths has denied five charges of rape, two charges of taking an indecent photograph of a child and two charges of indecent assault.

Peter Griffiths faces eight charges of rape, two counts of taking an indecent photograph of a child and a further three indecent assault charges.

The trial continues.