Max Clifford sex assaults trial set for 4 March


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The Independent Online

The PR guru Max Clifford will go on trial next year accused of indecent assault on teenage girls, a court heard today.

The 70-year-old, from Hersham in Surrey, faces 11 counts relating to seven alleged victims, aged from 14 to 19, between 1966 and 1985.

Clifford, who denies the charges, was not required to appear at the Old Bailey today as a trial date was set for 4 March 2014.

Clifford, who was arrested in December and charged in April, will next appear at the Old Bailey for a plea and case management hearing on 4 October.

Clifford, famed for representing celebrities including Simon Cowell and Jade Goody, entered not guilty pleas to all the counts at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court last month.

He was released on conditional bail and told he must live at his Surrey home and is not allowed to contact prosecution witnesses.

Bail conditions included permission for Clifford to stay at a different address in the jurisdiction provided he gives police 48 hours' notice.

The defendant must seek permission from the court should he wish to stay outside the jurisdiction, the judge ruled.

The trial is expected to last up to four weeks, the Old Bailey heard, but a decision on where the trial will take place is still to be made.

Following the hearing before Westminster magistrates last month, Clifford spoke outside the court to insist he was innocent and described the proceedings against him as "a nightmare".

"All I know is up until the Jimmy Savile situation no one ever said anything about me at all," he said.

"This is a nightmare for myself and my family and has been since December when I was arrested in a very public way.

"What I've got to do now is to prove that these allegations are totally without foundation, which I know they are."