A MAN sexually assaulted two girls 40 years apart, a court was told.

Former gypsy liaison officer for Dorset County Council Basil Burton of Dugdell Close, Ferndown, is accused of seven sexual offences against the girls who were both aged around eight or nine at the time the offences were allegedly committed.

Southampton Crown Court was told how one of the alleged victims first confided in friends and then a teacher at school that she had been sexually assaulted by Burton in 2006 and again between 2009 and 2010.

It was while police were investigating those allegations that a second alleged victim came forward with claims dating back to incidents sometime between 1964 and 1967 at an address in Dibden Purlieu.

Prosecutor Michael Forster told the jury how both complainants gave similar accounts of what had happened to them, including claims that Burton, 80, had kissed them on the mouth and made them touch him indecently.

Mr Forster said in police interview Burton had denied that any of the incidents had happened and it would be up to the jury to decide where the truth lay.

Burton denies causing or inciting a child to engage in a sexual act, three counts of sexual assault on a child under the age of 13, two counts of indecency with a child and indecent assault.