A former director of Bradford’s Bite the Mango film festival has told a jury he did not sexually assault two young girls and could not explain why they had made the allegations against him.
Wearing a black suit, white shirt and tie, Adeni Rutter repeatedly replied “no” as each accusation was put to him by his barrister Edward Bindloss.
He also pleads not guilty to groping another girl, about ten years ago when she was 15 or 16.
Rutter was originally charged with 14 offences but the indictment was amended yesterday afternoon after the close of the defence case.
Rutter, known as Addy, told the jury he had no criminal convictions or cautions. He said he had lived in Keighley with his family before joining the Army for several months when he was 16.
He later worked for the National Media Museum marketing department and then became director of the museum’s film department.
Rutter, now of Fairfax Crescent, Southowram, Halifax, said he was director of Bite the Mango festival for two years but had been made redundant by the NMM in 2010.
He had planned a freelance role in the film business but health issues, exacerbated by the allegations, meant he had not worked since.
Rutter, who is accused of indecent acts with the first girl in a bathroom and when he was wearing a buttoned dress, said he had never touched her inappropriately.
He said that, by the age of 14, the girl was headstrong and getting into trouble. She turned up drunk at his house and he gave her advice before sending her home to her mother.
He denied putting his hand into the second girl’s bra and said he did not know why the women were making the allegations against him.
Cross-examined by Alexander Menary, barrister for the Crown, Rutter denied that he found wearing women’s clothes sexually stimulating or that he was aroused by underage teenage girls.
The trial continues.