A PENSIONER appeared in court accused of sexually abusing children as long ago as 1969.
Ronald Wotton, 72, of Park Lane, Murton, is alleged to have indecently assaulted 20 boys and girls under the age of 14.
The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1969 and 1980.
Prosecutor Joanne Kidd told Durham Crown Court: “This is an historic matter and there are presently 20 complainants.”
No pleas were taken from Wotton, who faces 22 charges of indecent assault and two charges of gross indecency with a child.
The Recorder, Ms Sophie Drake, ordered a plea and case management hearing to take place at Teesside Crown Court on March 14.
Recorder Drake released Wotton on unconditional bail.