BBC DJ 'stepped aside' while his wife performed sex act on young man because it 'empowered her', court hears

'It was a positive,' Tony Wadsworth tells Warwick Crown Court

Julie and Tony Wadsworth outside Warwick Crown Court
Julie and Tony Wadsworth outside Warwick Crown Court

An ex-BBC presenter has told a court he "stepped to one side" to let a young stranger engage in a public sex act with his wife because it "empowered" her.

Tony Wadsworth said his wife, Julie Wadsworth, was "a very special human being" who had found the daytime encounter with the male in woodland in the 1990s "exhilarating and exciting".

He told Warwick Crown Court: "It was a positive, because she felt empowered as a woman. That it's not just me - the world and his wife can see the beautiful woman that she is."

The Wadsworths are accused of encouraging boys to take part in sexual activity in Warwickshire woods between 1992 and 1996.

Both have accepted having sexual encounters with what Mrs Wadsworth described as "young men" in the forest, but deny they were children.

Giving evidence in his defence, Mr Wadsworth said that in two separate encounters, involving up to three males each time, they appeared to be "16, 17 - possibly 18".

He described a claim he had sexual encounters with anyone aged 16 as "outrageous", and denied a prosecution allegation he had a "threesome" with his wife and a boy at his then home in Warwickshire.

Explaining their "first encounter" in the woods with one of the complainants in the trial, Mr Wadsworth said he found it "erotic" to watch his wife masturbate the lone stranger in front of him.

In his account of the moment, the couple were "kissing and cuddling" when they became aware of a young man watching them in the undergrowth.

Mr Wadsworth said: "I turned, looked around and saw this fella and must confess it was something of a shock. I didn't know what he was going to do. But very shortly after it was clear what he was hoping to do."

He added: "It just happened, he came forward as I stepped to one side."

The 69-year-old claimed the whole incident had taken place in woodland, well off the beaten track, without a word being exchanged.

He said: "After the heat of the moment was over, it was all very embarrassing and awkward. We tidied ourselves up and we all went our separate ways."

Ms Wadsworth has accepted going on to have a sexual relationship with that complainant, after bumping into him some years later, but has repeatedly denied he was under-age.

Her husband has claimed that when he discovered that tryst, he told the man to "f**k off", also rejecting a Facebook friend request from him in 2015.

Mr Wadsworth described what he claimed was the second and final occasion in the woodland in the 1990s, involving three males being masturbated by his wife as happening much the same as the first encounter.

Afterwards he said the couple agreed what was happening was "ridiculous, foolhardy and stupid and there would be no repetition".

Asked by his barrister Michelle Clarke why he allowed his wife to be approached by another male, Mr Wadsworth claimed his spouse's past with an abusive partner had left her "damaged" and insecure.

He told jurors that he wanted to prove others found her sexually desirable.

"Julie and I have a very deep loving relationship," he said. "I get quite emotional just talking about it. But because of Julie's past history with an abusive partner I think it's fair to say that Julie was and to some extent still is today a damaged person.

"She was not confident in her appearance, certainly not confident in her body and I just saw this beautiful person not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. So, a very special human being."

He added: "And as our relationship developed she began to confide in me and tell me about her abusive partner who was absolutely vile - the things he perpetrated on her. So I did my best to bring out the woman inside her, I suppose."

Appearing at times emotional, Mr Wadsworth said: "I guess I took a juxtaposition, and tried to demonstrate nobody owns anybody, nobody is a physical possession of anything else but a person in their own right, with their own rights.

"So I encouraged her to be the woman that I see today and I love her to bits, and I'm very proud of her."

he couple, from Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, deny five counts of outraging public decency which allege they engaged in sexual activity "against a tree" in view of others between July 1992 and June 1996.

Mrs Wadsworth, has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of indecent assault, while her husband denies nine counts of the same offence.

The trial continues.

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