Two drunken 14-year-old girls were sexually assaulted in a Potton park by a man who said he would walk them home, a jury was told on Monday.
Mark Gentle, 34, allegedly took advantage of the teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, after accompanying them on a three-and-a-half mile walk from Biggleswade to Potton in the early hours of the morning following a day out in Stevenage.
The girls told police that Gentle sexually touched them after they fell asleep in the park drunk on sherry, port, vodka and wine.
However, when questioned by detectives, Gentle denied the charge, saying he had "done the honourable thing" by walking them home because they were staggering.
Speaking for the Crown Prosecution Service, Andrew Howarth said: "[The girls] decided to go from Potton for a day out in Stevenage and Biggleswade where they were due to meet up with friends.
"One had taken sherry and port from her home and the other took vodka. They planned to spend the night and day out.
"They lied to their parents, saying they were going to stay at a friend's house."
Luton Crown Court heard that after visiting Stevenage, the girls later returned to Biggleswade and headed to Pizza Town in the High Street at 11pm, where they bought food.
Three hours later, Gentle entered the fast food restaurant with friends where he spoke to the girls and asked if they knew a friend’s daughter which they said they did.
"The defendant knew the girl was aged about 13 or 14 and they told him they were 14," continued Mr Howarth. "He knew their age."
According to the prosecution, Gentle offered to walk the girls back to Potton when the restaurant closed at 3am, getting two bottles of wine from his car on the way which he shared with the teenagers.
It was starting to get light when they arrived at Potton and in a park the girls fell asleep. It was alleged one girl woke up to find Gentle touching her breasts and groin. She rolled over onto her stomach.
The other girl is said to have woken up after feeling a pain in her groin and finding Gentle sexually assaulting her and alleged that he was giving her ‘French kisses’ at the same time. "She thought he was going to rape her," said the prosecutor.
Both girls left and went to sleep in another park before going to the home of one of them.
When questioned by their parents, the story came out and the police were called.
Gentle was traced through the Facebook account of the girl he said he knew and was arrested by the police.
He gave them a prepared statement saying: "I thought they were drunk and did the honourable thing by walking them home.
"At no time did I assault the girls. We left on friendly terms."
Gentle, of Village Road, Cockayne Hatley, denies two charges of sexual activity with a child on 17 July last year.
The case continues.
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