A 71-year-old man who was jailed five years ago for sexually assaulting two schoolgirls has claimed he only admitted the offences after he was drugged by his barrister.

Trevor Needs, who is now accused of sexually assaulting a Colchester schoolgirl, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday (February 2) that his barrister had given him a drink out of a beaker and afterwards he felt that he “wasn’t of his own mind".

He said that when he was subsequently asked at Norwich Crown Court if he was guilty of sexually assaulting the two girls, who were aged six and seven, he had nodded his head rather than saying “guilty”.

Asked by prosecution counsel, Andrew Thompson : “Are you saying that your barrister drugged you using a beaker of liquid and that’s why guilty pleas were entered in that case?” Needs replied: “Yes”.

“I suggest you pleaded guilty because you were guilty,” responded Mr Thompson.

The court has heard that after admitting sexually assaulting the girls in 2016 Needs, of Barnards Close, Norwich, was jailed.

He is now on trial accused of six offences of sexually assaulting a girl under 13 dating back to between January and June 2016.

He denies all the charges which predate his prison sentence.

The court has heard the latest allegations came to light after the alleged victim told a school friend she had been sexually touched by Needs.

The friend passed on the information to a teacher at their Colchester school and the police were contacted.

The girl told police that Needs had touched her breasts over and under her clothing and had touched her between the legs over clothing.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Needs said he wasn’t sexually attracted to the alleged victim and accused her of lying about the allegations.

“I’d been accused of doing awful things to other children and she joined in,” said Needs.

He denied all the allegations and accused the girl of lying.

Barristers in the case will make their closing speeches to the jury on Wednesday (February 3) and the jury will retire to consider its verdicts after Judge Emma Peters has completed her summing up.