A jury was today due to retire to consider its verdicts in the case of a Sunderland man charged with 34 sex offences.
Stanley Simpson, 50, of Penistone Road, Pennywell, denies abusing five boys, raping and indecently assaulting a young woman and two counts of indecently assaulting a girl, over a period of 20 years.
Durham Crown Court has heard how alleged victims said they were subjected to violence and threats to keep quiet by Simpson.
In some cases, Simpson was alleged to have given some alcohol or bought them presents and showed them horror films as he gained their trust before preying on them.
A number of those who have made allegations against Simpson have also said they faced violence during the abuse.
Simpson denied those allegations and said he is a family man who always tried to help people. The historical charges relating to five boys include 12 indecent assaults, five rapes, seven serious sex assaults and six incidents of indecency with a child.
He is also accused of two counts of raping and indecently assaulting a young woman and two counts of indecently assaulting a girl.
Sarah Mallett, prosecuting, said: “Once this defendant’s control began over them, he begins this campaign of abuse.
“Perhaps you think they should’ve left or responded, ‘go away’. But they were feeling ashamed, humiliated and embarrassment.”
Scott Smith, defending, told the jury: “Everywhere you look there is a sinister explanation, but there isn’t, it’s just as easy to look at it and find an innocent explanation.”
Judge Simon Hickey told the jury: “You are in full judgement of the facts and will decide what evidence you find is truthful and reliable and what evidence you regard as untruthful and unreliable.”
l The case continues.