Sex act with young stranger empowered wife, ex-BBC presenter tells court

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An ex-BBC presenter has told a court he "stepped to one side" to let a young stranger engage in a public sex act with his wife because it "empowered" her.

Tony Wadsworth said spouse Julie Wadsworth was "a very special human being" who had found the daytime encounter with the male in woodland in the 1990s "exhilarating and exciting".

The former broadcaster added: "It was a positive, because she felt empowered as a woman.

"That it's not just me - the world and his wife can see the beautiful woman that she is."

The Wadsworths are on trial at Warwick Crown Court accused of encouraging boys to take part in sexual activity in Warwickshire woods between 1992 and 1996.

Both have accepted having sexual encounters with what Mrs Wadsworth, 60, described as "young men" in the forest, but deny they were children.

The couple previously worked for BBC Leicester and Birmingham-based BBC WM.

Giving evidence in his defence on Friday, Mr Wadsworth said that in two separate encounters, involving up to three males each time, they appeared to be "16, 17 - possibly 18".

He described a claim he had sexual encounters with anyone under 16 as "outrageous", and denied a prosecution allegation he had a "threesome" with his wife and a boy at his then home in Warwickshire.

Explaining their "first encounter" in the woods with one of the complainants in the trial, Mr Wadsworth said he found it "erotic" to watch his wife masturbate the lone stranger in front of him.

In his account, he said the couple were "kissing and cuddling" when they became aware of a young man watching them in the bushes.

Mr Wadsworth said: "I turned, looked around and saw this fella and must confess it was something of a shock.

"I didn't know what he was going to do.

"But very shortly after it was clear what he was hoping to do."

He added: "It just happened, he came forward as I stepped to one side."

The 69-year-old claimed the whole incident had taken place in woodland, off the beaten track, without a word being exchanged.

He said: "After the heat of the moment was over, it was all very embarrassing and awkward.

"We tidied ourselves up and we all went our separate ways."

The couple, from Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, deny five counts of outraging public decency which allege they engaged in sexual activity "against a tree" in view of others between July 1992 and June 1996.

Mrs Wadsworth has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of indecent assault, while her husband denies nine counts of the same offence.

Under cross-examination Mr Wadsworth accepted finding it "sexually titillating" to watch while his wife engaged in sex acts with other males.

Miranda Moore QC, prosecuting, asked: "You were content to stand by, a little way from the action and watch what was happening?"

"Correct," replied Mr Wadsworth.

Mrs Wadsworth has accepted going on to have a sexual relationship with the complainant the couple first met in the woods, but has repeatedly denied he was ever underage.

Her husband has claimed that when he discovered that tryst, he told the man to "f*** off".

Mr Wadsworth described what he claimed was a second and final encounter in the woodland in the 1990s, involving three males being masturbated in turn by his wife.

Afterwards he said the couple agreed their behaviour was "ridiculous, foolhardy and stupid and there would be no repetition".

He told jurors their actions had "come back to bite us on the bum", but claimed: "I would not break the law."

Asked by his barrister Michelle Clarke why he allowed his wife to be approached by other men, Mr Wadsworth claimed he wanted to show his spouse she was sexually desirable, after a previous abusive partner left her "damaged" and insecure.

Mr Wadsworth said: "I wanted to show her she wasn't just attractive to me but to others as well.

"It was a moment in time, I looked at Julie and Julie looked at me and I stepped to one side and this guy moved in.

"It's terrible to have to describe it like this."

In the prosecution's closing speech, Miss Moore said of Mrs Wadsworth: "She's a woman who has courted publicity at the twang of a stocking, for years.

"She was a woman who relished the attention."

The Crown's barrister added: "Julie wanted to do this, Julie got a kick out of it, he did as well - possibly because he was so in love with her.

"What he's said is, "not with boys, not at these times" but what he did do is exactly what we said he did.

"He was minder and look-out, and the fact he did it out of love is not a defence."

The trial continues and the jury are expected to retire to consider their verdicts at some point next week.