'Intimidating' Shropshire man denies 18 sex attacks on women

A Shropshire man is on trial accused of 18 sex offences against seven different women.

Richard Forsyth, 32, denies rape, attempted rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault, relating to multiple women, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The alleged offences range from February to June last year, including six charges of sexual assault and one of attempted rape against one woman.

Forsyth is accused of raping one woman in a car, attempting to rape two others and touching several women inappropriately over and under their clothes.

Prosecutor Mr Benjamin Lawrence said that women complained that Forsyth had been "sexually forward" in front of them and he boasted to several women about his "sexual prowess".

He said that many victims were reluctant to report their experiences because Forsyth was "intimidating" and they feared the consequences.

He had a habit of "stalking" his victims and showing up outside their homes uninvited, watching them and sending texts, said Mr Lawrence.

When challenged on one occasion after allegedly grabbing one woman's bottom, he defended it as "just banter".

Forsyth, of Brookfield Close in Weston Rhyn, appeared in the dock at Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday and a jury was sworn in.

He is represented by Mr Paul Smith and the trial is being heard in front of Judge Peter Barrie.

The trial continues and witnesses are expected to start giving evidence today.

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