A SCHOOLBOY denied that he made false sex allegations against wealthy businessman Stephen Read to punish him for not being generous enough.
At Gloucester Crown Court on Wednesday, Read, 58, was described as ‘loaded’ and ‘rich’ and the jury was told he sometimes made gifts to boys whom he took shooting, swimming and boating.
The former managing director of Enviro Technology Services is on trial facing 15 charges of molesting four boys over a 15 year period.
The jury has been told investigations began when a mum giving a lift to her son and three other boys heard one of them describing Mr Read as a ‘paedo’.
In evidence, the 12 year old boy who made the ‘paedo’ remark denied that he had only made allegations against Read because he was jealous that he was more generous to another boy than him.
Defence barrister Jane Rowley asked the boy “I suggest you were annoyed that you were not getting as much from Steve as the other boy was? You have come up with these allegations just to get back at him, haven’t you?”
The boy replied “No, I’m telling the truth about what he did. ”
Ms Rowley persisted “You have lied and you have bullied the other boys into lying as well?”
“No,” he said.
The boy said he carried on going on outings with Read because he was too embarassed to tell his parents what the businessman was doing to him.
Ms Rowley asked “Did you get on with Mr Read?”
The boy said “When he was not doing those things and was taking me and the other boy swimming it was OK.”
The boy’s mother told how she and her family were at home on June 1st last year and policearrived at the door to interview him about allegations against Read which had been reported to them via the NSPCC.
“I asked my son why he had not told me and he said he was too embarassed,” said the mum.
She told the court she had already had concerns about Read, however, because she did not like the way he behaved towards her son.
“He used to cuddle him a lot and I didn’t think it was correct,” she said. “It was a quite regular thing.
“Steve didn’t pay any attention to my daughters – it was just my son. He was like that with other boys as well.”
Read denies two charges of indecently assaulting a boy between July 1997 and June 1999.
He also denies five charges of sexual assault of a second 12 year old boy between January and May 2012 and one of causing the same boy to view video of people engaged in sexual activity.
The third set of charges alleges four sexual assaults on another boy under-13 between April 2010 and April 2012 and one of causing that child to view similar pornography.
The final two charges are of causing or inciting a fourth boy to engage in sexual activity and causing him to view pornography.
Read has pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintains he never did or said anything indecent to the boys.