A former mayor of Rotherham accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl has branded the allegations ‘a load of rubbish.’
Barry Dodson, aged 67, took to the witness box at Sheffield Crown Court to give evidence against claims that he had indecently assaulted a girl in 1987.
The woman had sent an email to Dodson on June 25 last year calling him a ‘dirty pervert’ and said she would go to the police so people knew ‘what type of man he was’.
The alleged victim had previously told the court she decided to speak out after seeing he had become mayor of Rotherham, stating she did not want him to come into contact with children.
Dodson told the jury that after receiving the email, he ‘didn’t know’ who had sent it at first.
He said: “I looked at the name and then it suddenly dawned on me.
“I was dumbfounded and I was in complete shock.
“I phoned up the council and told them straightaway, I told the acting leader and said that I needed to see them as soon as possible.”
Louise Sweet, for Dodson, asked him why he thought the complainant had sent the email.
“I really don’t know, I still don’t know to this day,” he said.
“I don’t know if she was trying to blackmail me, it was ridiculous. There was no reason why she would sent it. To call somebody that, I just don’t know what to think.
“I got myself together and thought, ‘The council need to see this.’ I was the mayor of Rotherham, I couldn’t have people accusing me of something I haven’t done.”
The court heard Dodson called the police and told them about the email.
Dodson repeatedly denied numerous allegations put to him by prosecutor Richard Butters in cross-examination and claimed the defendant was telling lies.
“Did you panic that this was all catching up on you and you thought by telling the police first that it would look better?” Mr Butters asked.
The former councillor replied: “No I did not panic, it’s a load of rubbish. I have no idea about that, I would not have done that anyway.”
Dodson, of Cranworth Road, East Dene, is accused of carrying out the attack in the grounds of Boston Castle in Rotherham.
It is alleged he invited the girl to help him with making a wedding video, which was his job at the time.
Dodson denies one count of indecent assault.
The trial continues.