A Welshman who spent years living in Australia before he was extradited back to Britain stands accused at Kingston Crown Court of child abuse dating back to the 1940s.
As the first charges relates to an incident 62 years ago it is believed to be one of the oldest criminal cases in British legal history.
Reginald Davies, 78 and a former serviceman and miner, is accused of 16 offences against four children between 1949 and 1973. The court heard how Mr Davies is accused of conducting an 'entrenched pattern of sustained sexual abuse'.
He faces four charges of child rape, three of attempted rape, eight counts of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child. He denies all charges.
Prosecutors described to the court how Mr Davies lavished the girls with attention and then tested them by asking for a kiss. One of the girls was just nine years old when she alleges that he raped her. She claims that Mr Davies warned her to protect 'their secret'.
"The defendant nurtured a fear of disclosing the abuse in the complainants when they were children," Hanna Llewellyn-Waters, for the prosecution, told the court.
She went on to describe how Mr Davies kept the confidence of his victims by telling them that they were to blame and on occasion would tell them that they would be removed from their parents if they reported what had happened to them.
"As the complainants grew up, they tried to block the abuse from their minds in order to try to be able to continue with their lives," she added to explain the long duration between the acts and the court hearing.
Mr Davies was arrested in July in Wanneroo in Australia and was extradited to the UK to face the charges.