A former circus strongman on trial for historic sexual abuse of a female child has branded her and his previous victims “miniature gold-diggers”.

David Edward Parkinson (80) of University Street, Belfast but previously from Fermanagh, denies 12 charges between 1976 and 1983, including rape, gross indecency and indecent assault.

He rubbished the allegations and when confronted with multiple previous convictions claimed he was “set up”.

The complainant described him regularly visiting her family home where he allegedly asked her to clean the caravan he then resided in outside Brookeborough.

She agreed and found the caravan, “tiny, extremely dirty, with coins scattered across the floor”.

Parkinson told her she could keep the coins she swept up and while doing this, he allegedly exposed himself.

From there he moved to a house in Maguiresbridge and allegedly again asked her to clean for him.

Coins were similarly scattered over the floor and this was where regular abuse allegedly occurred.

The complainant initially attended with police in 2009 but felt unable to go through with the process however, by 2020, she gathered the strength.

At Dungannon Crown Court Parkinson branded the complainant “a liar” and “a good actress.”

He insisted: “I never gave her money. She was never in my caravan and never cleaned it.”

Asked by prosecution counsel if that was honest Parkinson replied: “I’ve taken an oath. I’m here to tell the truth. I’m very strong-minded. When I take an oath, I never break it.”

When asked if he had thrown coins on the floor he replied: “That’s a silly question. You keep them in your pocket or wallet. Why would I throw coins on the floor?”

The prosecution suggested he ingratiate himself to a young girl, but Parkinson said: “That’s ridiculous. I’ve always had girlfriends my own age.”

He denied having an interest in young girls and when asked about exposing himself to the complainant stated: “Definitely not. She wasn’t in the caravan. She's a very good actress.”

The prosecution enquired: “Is that another way of saying she’s told a pack of lies?”

“In short, yes,” said Parkinson.

Questioned about encouraging the complainant to watch pornography, he insisted only having videos of his strongman activities and as for sexual films: “That’s sick. I never did that.”

In relation to the sexual abuse Parkinson said: “It’s rubbish. It’s not in my nature to do anything as horrible as that.”

Prosecution counsel pointed to Parkinson’s previous convictions which demonstrated “what your nature is.”

He was asked about sexually abusing a girl in 2006 and responded: “That didn’t happen. Check the record. I never pleaded guilty. I was found guilty but I never, ever said I did that.”

Six other girls were sexually abused, one of whom described Parkinson stating if her parents found out she “wouldn’t see them again”.

Others described threats of “making their family disappear”, being bribed with money and made to watch pornographic videos.

Parkinson however contended: “That’s evil.”

“You’re saying they all lied about you?” enquired the prosecution.

“It’s not true. I was actually set up. One of their boyfriends made them tell lies,” said Parkinson.

The prosecution continued: “You denied all these matters and were convicted, so those girls all lied about you?”

“Their boyfriends set them up and they were probably programmed to tell lies,” replied Parkinson.

“And you're suggesting the complainant in this case is lying?”

“Definitely," said Parkinson. “It was like a miniature gold rush. She probably said she’d have some of that. They read about things like this. They invent it and change the wording. (People) were fed false information.”

The prosecution asked: “Are you saying, all these people are liars apart from you?”

Parkinson replied: “They are all miniature gold-diggers.”

The trial continues.