A FORMER Witney bus driver is on trial accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.

Peter Gibbs, 60, is on trial at Oxford Crown Court charged with three counts of historic child sex abuse which is alleged to have taken place in the early 2000s.

Gibbs, of Briary Lane, Carterton, has denied two counts of indecent assault, one on at least three occasions and the second on at least two occasions, and one count of rape of a girl under the age of 16.

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The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is now an adult.

Opening the trial on Monday (March 11), prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson told a jury that Gibbs was about 37 years old at the time of the alleged offences.

He said: “This is a case about a middle-aged man working as a bus driver in Witney engaging in sexual activity with an underage girl on a number of occasions in the early 2000s.

“He was several decades older than [the girl]. It became obvious to [the girl] that Mr Gibbs, despite being a generation older, fancied her and was sexually interested in her and wanted to see her despite her age.

“Mr Gibbs would arrange to pick her up in his Rover car in the early 2000s and he would take her for drivers out of Witney to the local countryside.

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“He would take her there and on occasions he would stop the car and he would kiss her. Not just a peck but a snog, a French kiss. She was only 14 of course.

“So far, she didn’t mind so much but the defendant wanted to go a lot further.”

Mr Ward-Jackson told the jury that the defendant would then allegedly touch the young girl inappropriately and it had reportedly happened on several occasions.

“So this is something happened often,” he continued. “She said she didn’t want it and would sometimes try and stop him but she would struggle as he was stronger than her and would pin her down when he did it.

“She say it happened a lot of times but she can’t say precisely how many times, it was a long time ago.

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“Most of this activity happened when she was 14. She then turned 15 but was still seeing him.”

Before the opening speech, the jury was told that Gibbs has ‘mental and physical’ issues so there may be more breaks than usual during the trial.

The proceedings continue will the alleged victim giving evidence on Tuesday (March 12).