A PENSIONER said he felt 'absolutely awful' about being accused of child sex abuse in the 1970s, telling the jury the alleged victim was lying.

Philip Oliver, who denies the abuse in Dines Green, Worcester in the 1970s, appeared in the witness box at the city's crown court yesterday. The 70-year-old former milkman, porter and clothes shop manager of Wilson Road, Shurdington, near Cheltenham, denies 12 child sexual offences between 1971 and 1980, beginning when the girl was four or five years old - six indecent assaults, four counts of indecency, one count of sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 and one count of attempting to have sexual intercourse with a girl aged under 16.

Oliver, examined by his barrister Adam Western, said he had been told about the allegations by the complainant's mother in the mid to late 1980s.

He said she told him her daughter had claimed he 'touched her, kissed her and fondled her'. Oliver said he denied this and asked to speak to the alleged victim.

"She was lying. I wanted to know why she was lying" he told the jury.

Oliver then said he asked the alleged victim herself why she was lying and she repeated the same accusations as her mother. "I told her to get out (of his car) in the end" he said.

He confirmed that after the accusation was made he went to see his GP and then either a psychiatrist or a psychologist. He said he was told that if anything had happened he would remember it, telling the jury: "I needed to talk to somebody."

He said there were no friends he could discuss it with and the allegations made him feel 'absolutely awful'. Oliver confirmed police spoke to him about the allegations in 1993. Asked what he had told police he said: "The truth - that nothing like that had ever happened."

Police at that time agreed to take no further action. Oliver was arrested on November 5, 2016 after the complainant went back to the police. James Dunstan, prosecuting, asked Oliver if he was using the passage of time as 'a shield' so he could say he did not remember. The defendant denied this. Oliver said the bottom had fallen out of his world after the allegations were made.

"Could you have saved the world if the truth was on your side?" said Mr Dunstan. Oliver answered 'with hindsight, yes'.

"You could have at least fought for the truth" said Mr Dunstan.

"I could" said Oliver. But he told the jury he was 'not a strong person emotionally nor physically' but was 'stronger now, thanks to my wife'.

He had said earlier in his evidence that he had been married for 27 years.

The trial continues.