A Bradford man has told a jury how his new life in the United States turned into a nightmare when he was arrested over allegations of sex abuse dating back to the 1980s.
Barry Willoughby left England in the early 1990s to pursue his career in the gambling industry by working on cruise ships and later at casinos in the US, but in 2012 police kicked in his bedroom door and arrested him at his home in Mississippi.
Willoughby, 46, agreed with a suggestion by prosecutor David Gordon that the allegations of sexual abuse had come out of the blue.
The three-times-married defendant repeatedly insisted during his evidence to a jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday that he never sexually abused either of the two complainants, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
The jury has heard how one of the complainants contacted police after she traced Willoughby to America through Facebook. The police re-opened their inquiry into her case, which had initially started in 1993, and an extradition warrant was issued.
He did not contest the extradition and was not formally arrested by UK officers until he arrived at Heathrow Airport in January last year.
A few months after his arrival a second complainant also contacted the police.
Willoughby, who has denied ten charges of indecent assault and three of indecency with a child, insisted that the women’s allegations were invention and lies.
He admitted that he had shown pictures in pornographic magazines to one of the complainants when she was nine and he was 15, but he described that as “showing off”.
Willoughby said the two of them were in a lorry trailer at the time and there was a brief incident when they both pulled down their jeans to show each other their private parts.
Under cross-examination, Willough-by denied that the incident was part of the “grooming” of the complainant which then escalated into more serious sexual abuse allegations.
“All of that you say is just invention on her part?” suggested Mr Gordon.
“Yes,” replied Willoughby.
Willoughby is alleged to have repeatedly abused a second complainant while babysitting at her home, but he told the jury that he only babysat for the family once and he was not responsible for pornographic material which was said to have been found under the carpet in the youngster’s bedroom.
During questioning by his own barrister Willoughby said he had no interest in sexual activity with children and there was no inappropriate sexual touching with either complainant.
The trial continues.