THE former chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and a governor at Kettlewell School has appeared in court charged with sexually assaulting young girls.

David Knight, who became chairman of CND in 1997 and has attended several major disarmament conferences across the world, appeared before Skipton magistrates on Friday.

He was accused of 11 offences of sexually assaulting two girls aged 11 and 12. The offences were alleged to have been committed some years ago.

Knight, 61, of Ladycroft, Townhead, Kettlewell, denies all the allegations.

Mr Knight was head of maths at South Craven School, Cross Hills, but went part time when he took up the post as head of CND. He has been involved in the anti-nuclear campaign since the 1960s.

Skipton magistrates ruled on Friday that Knight must stand trial at the crown court.

Prosecutor Mark Haigh told the court the allegations dated back more than 20 years but had only just come to light.

One girl was allegedly indecently assaulted on eight occasions, the other on three.

Knight did not speak in court as magistrates adjourned the case until November 11 for committal proceedings.

His unconditional bail was extended to the hearing date.

Just four days after his court appearance, Knight was due to address a public meeting in London.

It was part of Bruce Gagnon's week-long Keep Space for Peace tour. Mr Gagnon is the co-ordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

Knight, who is described on the CND website as the network's UN representative, has organised the tour which will include a demonstration at Menwith Hill - the American base between Skipton and Harrogate - at midday tomorrow (Saturday).