THE trial of a Welshpool man charged with 10 counts of sexual offences against children has been told he groomed a pre-teen girl into having sex with him as "practice".

Tom Piggott, aged 21, of Welshpool, appeared in Mold Crown Court on Tuesday as his trial for the offences, which are alleged to have taken place over a period of three years between March 2017 and August 2020 and which he denies, continued.

The court heard from one victim that she had added Piggott – then aged 17 – to her Facebook when she was not yet a teenager, thinking that she knew him through a school friend.

She alleged they had exchanged messages and photos including naked body parts, and that the defendant was aware of her age at the time of messaging. She said he wanted to "practice" with her as "he had not done anything".

The court then heard how they went to nearby woods, where one of the two rapes with which he is charged is alleged to have occurred.

In a statement to police, the victim said she was scared to tell anyone about the incidents and that she continued to find ways to avoid Piggott.

In cross examination, the victim was asked if she had invented the incident, which she denied.

She also asserted that she did not agree with the defence's view that messages could have been sent by a third party with Piggott's social media accounts hacked as he had never mentioned it to her.

The trial continues.