Dance brothers in court over child sex allegations
Brothers from Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton accused of sex crimes against children were told it was ‘inevitable’ they faced trial by jury when they appeared at Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday.
Haulage operator Maurice William Dance, 57, of Queens Road, Budleigh Salterton, has denied, at an earlier hearing, six offences of committing indecent assault with two girls under the age of 14.
Taxi driver Colin Edward Dance, 59, of Roseway, Littleham, had earlier pleaded not guilty to six offences committing gross indecency with a child under the age of 16.
The pair stands accused of committing the historic sex crimes in the early 1970s and the 1980s.
The brothers will appear before Exeter Crown Court on October 28 where the indictments will be formally put to the defendants and they will each enter their plea.
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Judge John Neligan said: “The timetable has been set for your purposes. “Each of you must be back in this court room on the 28th of October where you will be asked whether you plead guilty or not guilty.
“It’s anticipated you will plead not guilty and the trial date will be fixed.”
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The brothers were released on conditional bail - to both reside at an address in Hampshire and both banned from entering Devon unless for court appearances or solicitor appointments.
The pair both answered ‘yes your honour’ when asked by judge Neligan if they understood the conditions set before them.
In court was Maurice Dance’s defence barrister Martin Lanchester. Defending Colin Dance was Kelly Scrivener.
Both defence barristers said they would be applying for the men’s cases to be heard away from Exeter for reasons relating to previous press coverage.
Prosecutor Richard Crabb, said the pair faced ‘historical’ sexual offences but did not discuss any details of the case.
He said the only link between the cases was the fact the defendants were brothers.
“These are separate and distinct allegations,” he said.
Colin Dance, born on September 18 1951, stands accused of committing gross indecency with a girl under the age of 16 between 1974 and 1980, in Exmouth.
His brother, Maurice, is accused of indecent assault of a girl under the age of 14, between 1987 and 1989, and another girl under the age of 14 between 1971 and 1972.