Wales

Brecon Beacons instructor accused of indecent assaults on boys

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

An instructor at a climbing centre indecently assaulted two boys, a court heard.

Robert Pugh, now 75, is accused of eight charges of indecent assault, including some on camping trips.

They are alleged to have happened when Mr Pugh worked at the Storey Arms centre in the Brecon Beacons in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Pugh, of Cardiff, denied the charges at Newport Crown Court.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said: "The case revolves around three people.

"What draws them together is climbing at the Storey Arms where Robert Pugh was running the courses and overseeing what was going on."

One of the complainants said Mr Pugh "took an interest" in him and gave him climbing boots when he worked as a teenager with the instructors, jurors were told.

On one, he described sharing a tent with Mr Pugh, who fondled him under his sleeping bag, before he fought him off.

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

Mr Griffiths said following a trial last year, which was stopped, another man had come forward to make allegations.

He had started climbing as a 15-year-old in the 1990s before being invited to help the instructors.

The man described accompanying them to a local pub and being given beer which made him "fuzzy".

Later that night, Mr Pugh came into the room where he was sleeping and groped him under the duvet, with it happening "often after that", the jury heard.

The man said when he was 18 and at university, he went on a trip as a helper, where he shared a tent with Mr Pugh.

While this "disturbed" him, he "reluctantly agreed", but described the defendant trying to cuddle him, groping him and making "inappropriate comments".

"He felt trapped because he was a long way from home," Mr Griffiths said.

As soon as the other students arrived, the court heard the boy asked to sleep in their tent and following that never went back to the Storey Arms.

The trial continues.

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