Riding club groom in child sex case denial
A HORSE groom accused of exploiting teenagers who "hero worshipped" him has denied sexually assaulting them.
Stephen Cashmore denies three counts of indecency with a child and four of indecent assault against three different victims between 1988 and 1991.
Cashmore, who helped set up Clydach Riding Club in 2006, denies he assaulted the three girls while he worked at liveries in South West Wales.
He is accused of taking one of the girls into his caravan and trying to have sex with her. Cashmore, of Ty Draw Road, Bonymaen, denies he showed that same girl his penis and asked her to touch it.
During another incident he is accused of touching a girl's thigh and trying to kiss her and also exposing himself to the same girl. Cashmore, aged 49, also denies sexually assaulting a third.
His barrister, Justin Hugheston, asked him: "At any time did you act in a way that's inappropriate with these young girls?"
Cashmore replied: "No."
One of the girls had accused him of assaulting her when they had been alone together but he denied they had ever been left alone together.
He also denied exposing himself to that girl and when asked if he had apologised to her father after the alleged incident, he replied: "I wouldn't have because I never did it."
He said: "That never happened."
When questioned about whether each of the incidents took place, Cashmore repeatedly told the jury "no".
Cashmore, who admitted to Cardiff Crown Court that he had been an amateur jockey, denied he had ever shown any of the teenagers who used the liveries special attention by offering them riding tips.
He was asked by prosecution barrister Tracy Lloyd-Nesling: "This little knot of horse mad girls had only one male at the stables that they could turn their attention to and that was you?"
He replied: "Possibly."
Mrs Lloyd-Nesling continued: "They admired you and looked up to you."
"Not that I noticed," he replied.
He denied he had turned against one of his accusers when she had refused to touch his penis.
Mrs Lloyd-Nesling said the prosecution alleged he had asked the girl to touch his penis and told her she could not leave until she had.
"When she wouldn't co-operate you turned your attention away from her and began to be unpleasant to her?"
Again, Cashmore denied the allegation.
She told him: "You took advantage of their interest in horses to get them to admire you because you were the celebrity of the stables."
He replied: "I wouldn't class myself as a celebrity."
She then put to him: "You took advantage of the fact these girls hero worshipped you to have sexual contact with them, more than one of them as long as they were happy to go along with it."
"No," he replied.
The jury in the trial are expected to go out to consider their verdict today.