THE dad of an aspiring teenage pop singer has told a jury how his daughter said there were perverts' in the music industry after spending a weekend at the home of her manager Hilary Budgen.

He said that the 14-year-old, who claims she was molested by the 62-year-old record producer who works under the name Rob Gem, had been behaving strangely after staying with him in Swindon.

"She said to me did you realise there were perverts and people like that in the music industry'," the dad told Swindon Crown Court.

"I just shrugged my shoulders and laughed and said in all walks of the world there were probably people like that.

"She said Did you know Mr Budgen was part of the Mafia and used to live in America' and she said You mustn't tell anyone what I have told you'."

The dad, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that he was confused about what she had been saying and asked her what she meant.

But he said that she told him she didn't want to talk about it and then started to cry.

Earlier he had said that she had been enthusiastic about the prospect of a career in show business.

After the weekend in Swin-don though he said she had started to be a little apprehensive' and said she didn't want to sing any more.

She missed another trip from Dorset, where she lives, to Budgen's home in Barring-ton Close, Liden, pretending to be ill.

He said they had signed a contract with Budgen, who was involved in Rascal Records, allowing his daughter 18 per cent of any profits from recordings, but she received nothing.

Answering questions from Don Tait, prosecuting, he said that he had not been trying to get his daughter out of the deal and that she had stopped singing since reporting the matter to the police.

Giving evidence via a videolink the girl, now 15, told the court that Budgen had indecently touched her as he took promotional photographs which included shots up her skirt.

Under cross-examination from Sue Evans, defending, the girl admitted that she was happy for the photographs to be taken.

Miss Evans asked "You say he had the camera in one hand and he was touching you with the other. Is there any reason why you didn't push him away?"

The teenager replied that she was taken aback' by what had happened.

Miss Evans then put to her "I suggest he didn't do that at all," to which the girl said "He did."

The teenager admitted sending text messages to her manager after the alleged incident in which she signed off with kisses.

"I was trying to work out in my head what I was going to do and how I was going to cope with the situation so I had to act normal," she said.

Budgen denies two counts of sexual activity with a child, inciting a child to commit a sex act and meeting a child following sexual grooming.

He also denies three counts of making indecent pseudo photographs of a child and one of possessing indecent images. He has admitted three counts of making indecent images.

  • The trial continues