The man accused of 44 sexual offences against children gave evidence yesterday in his defence.

Peter Robert Doyle, 51, is on trial for the alleged offences, which he is said to have committed some years ago when the three complainants were young. They are now adults.

The trial is in the Whanganui District Court, before Judge Thomas Ingram.

"Mr Doyle has pleaded not guilty," defence lawyer Jamie Waugh said in an opening address to the jury of five men and seven women.


"You have heard him say it 44 times - not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, over and over."

Doyle told Mr Waugh the alleged offending, which included rape, indecent assaults, and indecent acts in front of the complainants, was "nothing I would ever do".

When asked if he had touched one of the complainants' genitals, he said he would "never do anything as bad as that". "Wouldn't even cross my mind."

He spoke about one occasion when he was staying in a cabin with one of the complainants. The girl gave evidence that he rubbed his penis against her and ejaculated on her, but he said that was not true.

Doyle said they were both in sleeping bags on the one bed in the cabin, and he inadvertently rolled over and touched the girl in the process. He said he didn't know where he touched her.

"She went ape at me, so I went and slept on the floor," he said. He told Crown prosecutor Harry Mallalieu the girl might have said something like "get away".

There was another alleged occasion where Doyle told three girls he would "lick all three f*****s".

Doyle told the court he could not recall such an occasion, but "if I had been drinking, I could have".

He said he sometimes said "semi-crude" things to children when he was drunk.

Doyle will continue giving evidence today.