Music producer in court over abuse claims

A MUSIC producer befriended a Weston family before sexually abusing two young girls at his home, a court heard.

Don Todd this week stood accused at Bristol Crown Court on two separate counts of sexually abusing the siblings, aged eight and nine, in the 1970s.

One of the sisters told a jury at the court on Monday that Todd had befriended her father, a musician, and that when he had been babysitting them and another sister at his flat he had abused two of them.

The sisters, who the Mercury cannot name for legal reasons, had also appeared on a record 74-year-old Todd had made while he was in Weston.

The court heard that Todd, of Austen Drive, had first befriended the girls’ parents in the early 1970s, and that he had become a trusted babysitter to the couple’s children.

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Todd, who worked as a music producer for the BBC, was a regular visitor to their house, and the girls were also enlisted to sing on an independent record he was making alongside around 30 other girls.

The sister told the jury that she and her two younger sisters were taken to Todd’s Locking Road flat when she was nine, and that in the evening they had gone to bed in his room, with the babysitter set to sleep in his lounge.

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But, she said: “He came into the room, and he stood by the bed and took the bottoms of his pyjamas off and got into bed.

“I said ‘what are you doing?’, and he said ‘I’m getting into bed’. I said ‘you’re not supposed to do that’ and he just said ‘it’s ok’.”

The sister said Todd then abused her and one of her sisters.

She continued: “I can’t remember it stopping, in fact I can’t remember him getting out of the bed.

“We didn’t see him again after that. The next I heard of him was when my mum said he was coming to stay when I was 16. I actually phoned him up at the BBC and said ‘you’re not staying and you’re coming nowhere near my sisters and me’. He just said ‘OK’.”

The three siblings reported the alleged incident to the police in 2010, leading to Todd’s arrest in July last year. He denies the charges.

Richard Posner, prosecuting, said: “Don Todd became a trusted friend to the family, he brought the children gifts and he spent time with them around the family home.

“The case for the prosecution is that he abused their trust that night.”

The case continues.

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