Acclaimed Cornwall artist Graham Ovenden accused of child sex offences
A famous childrens' artist living in North Cornwall sexually abused young girls after blindfolding them and dressing them in Victorian-style nighties, a jury heard today.
Graham Ovenden, 70, is accused of paedophile crimes against four children aged from six to 14 between 1972 and 1985.
Ramsay Quaife, prosecuting, said the offences took place at his homes in London and Cornwall and the alleged victims - all now adults - had similar accounts of the alleged abuse.
He added that the accused told police he still has 'a very major reputation' for painting some of the best portraits of children in the last 200 years.
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Mr Quaife told Truro Crown Court that the offences took place as the youngsters modelled for Ovenden, who is also a renowned fine art photographer.
He said: "What we say is that Mr Ovenden is a paedophile, that is a sexual abuser of children, and we say in this case the target of his abuse was young girls."
He described how Ovenden would dress the children up in Victorian style nighties before leaving them naked and blindfolding them.
He said: "The defendant would put the tape down over her eyes. She could not see anything. The tape was black, stretchy and smelt of glue.
"Although she could not see, she could hear the defendant and she could remember the sound of his belt buckle.
Mr Quaife said Ovenden then performed an indecent assault on the children.
He said in some cases the naked girls whose eyes were taped were moved into different positions and pictured where their genitals could be seen.
Ovenden, from Pantersbridge, nearr Bodmin, denies six charges of indecent assault and three of indecency with a child.
The trial continues.