A BLACKWOOD man is accused of sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 15.

Keith Bates, 48, of Twyn Gardens, Cefn Fforest, appeared at Newport Crown Court yesterday for trial.

He denies two counts of sexual activity with a child and two counts of sexual assault.

In 2012 he is alleged to have picked up one of the girls. At the time, she was tearful after an argument, the jury was told.

Claire Pickthall, prosecuting, said: “She was very distressed.

He said, ‘Let me check your heartbeat.’ He told her how fast her heart was beating.”

Bates is alleged to have “orchestrated” time alone with the girls.

He gave the girl a lift later that day, the court heard, but stopped in a car park instead of dropping her off.

Ms Pickthall said: “He went to the back of the car park and they sat in the car. He asked (her) about the type of boys she went for.

After about 20 minutes he asked to check her heartbeat again. This time he said he couldn’t feel a heartbeat. He then put his hand under her top.”

He is alleged to have touched her indecently and made an inappropriate comment, later telling her if there was anything she was uncomfortable with she just had to say.

Three of the counts relate to a second girl, who says she was sexually assaulted by Bates once and claims there were two instances of sexual activity.

He is alleged to have parked up, asking her: “Where’s my cuddle?”

Ms Pickthall claimed Bates groped the girl who then got out of the car. He is accused of having touched the girl twice after spraying Lynx deodorant on her chest and then wiping off the excess with his hand.

On the second time this allegedly happened, the prosecution say he tried to kiss the girl and made her touch him.

Bates denies all charges and says he had never been alone with either girl without somebody else being present.