Man charged with historic abuse

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A St Helens man has been charged with a string of historic sex offences against young girls in the 1960s and 70s.

Stephen Bowden, 61, is accused of 27 counts of rape and indecent assault on children aged between seven and 14.

All the alleged offences are said to have taken place in St Helens between 1968 and 1976.

Mr Bowden, of Parbold Avenue, Blackbrook, was released on conditional bail when he appeared before JPs in St Helens. He is set to stand trial at Liverpool Crown Court later this year.