A RETIRED taxi driver claimed he “hasn’t a clue” why he has been accused of abusing four girls of the same extended family, a court heard.

Keith Ryman said three of the girls were lying when they gave evidence against him at York Crown Court.

He also alleged the third youngest was lying when she claimed she caught him in the act of abusing the fourth girl, then aged three.

“What was your response?” asked his barrister Laura Addy.

“I was amazed by her screaming out and asked 'what have I done?',” claimed Ryman.

“She gave me a load of abuse so I said 'I am going'.”

The fourth girl is too young to give evidence.

Ryman, 75, of Carnot Street, off Leeman Road, York, denies 10 charges of indecently assaulting a child, six of sexually assaulting a child and one of engaging a child in sexual activity.

The offences are alleged to have happened between 1993 and November last year.

At the conclusion of the prosecution case, Judge Simon Hickey told the jury they would not be asked to return verdicts on two more charges of sexual assault and one more charge of indecent assault.

All the four alleged victims are related to each other and are part of two generations of the same extended family.

Giving evidence in his own defence, Ryman said he had known two adults of the family since his mid-20s when he was working as a taxi driver and would regularly visit them.

He denied each allegation as Ms Addy put them to him.

In respect of the oldest girl, she asked him: “Why do you say (the girl) is saying that?”

He replied: “I haven’t a clue. It will be something she has thought up. As far as I am concerned she is lying.”

He made similar claims about each of the next two girls.

He also claimed he never went into the house where the oldest girl claimed some of the abuse took place and denied that he had told her he would abuse one of her relatives if she told adults he was abusing her.

He denied abusing one of the girls at the Great Yorkshire Show.

The trial continues.