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“You have bad intentions”

“You have bad intentions”

A man accused of raping and sexually abusing children has told jurors he cannot be guilty because he is impotent.

Former social club treasurer Anthony Shackell admitted he was prescribed Viagra to treat his erectile dysfunction.

Reading Crown Court

However, he insisted that he did not take it because the drug gave him a headache.

And he angrily told the prosecutor: “You have bad intentions.”

Mr Shackell, now 81, is on trial at Reading Crown Court where he denies 16 charges of sexually abusing children in the past and two more recent charges relating to a girl aged just eight.

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The prosecution alleges that Mr Shackell, of Mey Close, Calcot, brutally raped one of the plaintiffs after threatening her family if she did not co-operate.

He is also accused of raping another woman and sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl.

In his testimony, Mr Shackell vehemently denied that he had any sexual interest in children.

The court was told that the two main plaintiffs, who are now adults, eventually contacted each other and went to the police, although an initial investigation at the time did not lead to any further action.

But then Mr. Shackell is accused of sexually abusing the eight-year-old, whereupon she told her father about the incident.

The father reported the incident to the police, who reopened the case, leading to the charges that Mr Shackell now faces.

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In a recorded interview with police, the girl stated: “He put his hand down my pants and touched my genitals, and I didn’t like that.”

She said she pulled his hand away and said “stop” before bursting into tears and telling her family what had allegedly happened.

Mr Shackell denied ever having done so.

He told jurors that he is a tactile person, saying: “I just hugged her and minutes later she was in tears.”

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson, Mr Shackell said he could give no reason why the girl had made the allegations.

Mr Shackell also told the jury that the two lead plaintiffs had put their heads together and made the whole thing up.

He denied having sexually touched her or even raped her “at any time.”

He said he had been suffering from erectile dysfunction and although his GP had prescribed Viagra, he had not taken it because it had given him headaches.

Mr Shackell said he had simply resigned himself to a sexless marriage with his wife Maria.

When asked whether he had had sex with the two main plaintiffs, he replied: “Do you think I’m Superman?”

Mr Shackell said he was “completely astonished” by the allegations, adding: “I don’t do things like that.”

Under cross-examination by Mr Ward-Jackson, he said it was purely coincidental that the allegations made by the two main plaintiffs were made at a time when he had stopped having sex with his wife.

He said the plaintiffs had done “terrible things” to him, but added that he was a forgiving person.

Mr Shackell angrily claimed that Mr Ward-Jackson, who pressed him about the allegations, had “bad intentions”.

The jury has now received final legal instructions from Judge Alan Blake and was in the process of reaching its verdicts at the time of writing.