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Magician denies assault.

A children's entertainer had sex with a schoolgirl after she helped him with a magic trick, Cardiff Crown court heard yesterday.

Magician Eric Blackledge, right, 62, allegedly invited the girl to his house where he manufactured tricks for children's parties.

Prosecutor Richard Twomlow told the jury Blackledge was a local 'celebrity' and the girl, now 25, developed a crush on him.

He said, 'He was known by many children as Uncle Eric and had a high degree of local celebrity.

'The girl was asked to help him make a magic trick and she found that an attractive idea.'

The court heard Blackledge told the girl he had 'fallen in love' with her.

Mr Twomlow said, 'The girl was shocked by this.

'Blackledge said he wanted to wait until she was 14 and then he would have sex with her.

'She had developed a crush on him and joked with him in the same way.

'After her 14th birthday Blackledge told the girl he wanted them to sleep together.'

Married Blackledge, of Ely, Cardiff, denies four counts of indecent assault but admits having sex with the girl when she was over 16.

The trial continues.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 19, 2004
Words:194
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