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Newport man, 78, in court on kidnap and child rape charges

Bridgnorth | News | Published:

A 78-year-old Newport man who described himself as "Ronaldo" is accused of raping an 11-year-old girl and kidnapping a teenager.

Ronald Charles Price, faces 11 charges, including six counts of rape on a girl under 13, and one charge of kidnap - all of which he denies.

As the prosecution opened the case against Price, the jury heard how he had referred to himself as "Ronaldo" when sending unwanted text messages to one of his alleged victims.

Glyn Samuel, prosecuting, said that Price, of Wenlock Drive, Newport, is accused of abusing three girls, all in separate incidents.

A jury at Shrewsbury Crown Court was told that the first girl was 10 or 11 years old when the abuse took place.

The girl, whose evidence was recorded and played on video to the jury, said Price had persuaded him to perform a sex act, telling her it was "their little secret".

The girl told police how the abuse had taken place while other people were in the same house, but had happened while they were out of the room.

The abuse is alleged to have taken place every week for more than 12 months and her parents had become suspicious when she received a text message at 11pm. Her father traced the number and called, with Price answering, who was then told to keep away from the girl, the court was told.

Price was later quizzed on the matter by the police and admitted he had communicated with her by telephone, but said it was only once or twice.

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The jury was also told of a second victim who Price was accused of hugging and kissing in an inappropriate manner, making her feel "very uncomfortable".

Mr Samuel said Price had also pestered the girl for her telephone number and had then left a voicemail referring to himself as "Ronaldo", saying he had missed her and wanted to meet her after school.

After the police had been alerted, Price was interviewed and denied giving the girl money, saying he had sometimes sponsored her. He also told officers he could not remember kissing her but if he did it was because "he was a friendly nice man".

Mr Samuel said a third girl became the focus of Price's intentions while working at a bar.

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He told the court that Price had somehow obtained her mobile phone number and made repeated offers to help her get into the film industry with the use of his contacts he claimed to have made.

Mr Samuel said the girl agreed to meet Price for coffee on September 6, 2010, but he instead persuaded her to get into his car and then drove her to a hotel in Much Wenlock.

The court heard how the alleged victim was "very worried" and at one point passed a note to reception staff asking them to call someone to help her.

After the police were called Price told them in interview that he was "just a nice friendly old man who is misunderstood".

The trial continues.

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