A 37-year-old man on trial at Bradford Crown Court accused of sexually assaulting a girl more than 15 years ago today told a jury: “I would never ever do anything like that, never.”

Steven Baxter is alleged to have molested the child in a tent on a night fishing trip and abused her on repeated occasions at his then flat in Windhill, Shipley.

Baxter, of Valley View, Baildon, denies five allegations of indecent assault, four of indecency with a child and one of attempting to rape a girl under 16.

The accusations relate to one girl and were said to have happened between 1995 and 1998 when she was aged between 11 and 13.

Today Baxter said the girl played truant from school and would sometimes come to his home but they never spent time alone together.

He said that in the mid 1990s, he was smoking cannabis, taking ecstasy and going to raves.

He recalled the girl being one of a group of young people on a camping trip by the canal.

He said his friends lit a fire and took drugs on such expeditions.

That night, others in the group had taken LSD, amphetamine tablets and magic mushrooms.

Baxter recalled one friend describing a space battle in the sky and another injuring his eye when he tried to shoot himself in the face with an air rifle.

He said the girl, now a woman in her 20s, was asleep in one of the tents and he never touched her.

Baxter said she would drink too much and was hanging around with heroin and crack cocaine addicts.

The trial continues.