A man accused of the sexual abuse of three young boys was a member of the Bolton Seven, a court has heard.

Norman Williams is alleged to have abused youngsters from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s when they were under the age of 16.

Against the first complainant, he is alleged to have committed three counts of rape and nine counts of indecent assault.

He is further accused of four counts of indecent assault, three counts of indecent assault and one count of actual bodily harm.

The trial at Bolton Crown Court was shown a video interview given by the first complainant.

He said: “Over five to six years there was sexual assault, sexual abuse.”

He described the first instance of rape saying “it was really really painful.”

The man added: “I was asking him to stop.

“He was saying ‘you will be fine.’"

The complainant also said Williams, 58, had been part of the Bolton Seven.

He said: “He told us about that, he got publicity with the Bolton Seven.

“He was quite happy talking about this.

“He said in relation to that he was on the register, the sex offenders register, because of that, even though the case was dropped he was still on the register in relation to that.”

The interviewer asked what the first complainant had been told about it.

He said: “They had made a video. A young man who was 16, the law at the time prohibited homosexual sex until you were 18, but heterosexual sex you were allowed from 16.

“They all got charged because of that.

“Then there was quite a bit of media publicity.

“They ended up changing the law.

“They all got a bit of a rebuke, they got a financial payout as well.

“It went to the European Court of Human Rights.”

Against the second complainant he is accused of four counts of indecent assault between October 1995 and October 1999 and three counts of rape between October 1997 and October 1999.And against the final complainant, he is accused of a single count of indecent assault.

The offences are said to have taken place between October 1995 and January 2001.

The incidents are alleged to have taken place firstly at an address in Hag Fold, Wigan and later at another property on Leigh Road, Atherton, with the exception of one count of indecent assault and rape against the second complainant which is said to have taken place with another unknown male at an unknown address in Bolton.

Williams, from Leigh Road, Atherton, told police nothing happened with the third complainant but sexual activity with the first two took place at a later date when they were above the age of 16 and it was consensual.

The trial, before Judge Jon Close, continues.