Jury retires in sex abuse trial
A jury has retired to consider its verdicts on a man whose wife is accused of murdering their two children in a Spanish hotel.
Martin Smith, 45, is accused at Manchester Crown Court of using hypnosis and violence to groom and sexually abuse a young girl.
Smith's daughter Rebecca, five, and son Daniel, 11 months, were found dead in the Hotel Miramar in the resort of Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava on May 18.
Their mother Lianne Smith, 44, is being held by Spanish police on suspicion of the double murder.
On Monday, Miss Smith, a former manager at Cumbria County Council's children's services department, gave evidence via video-link from Spain in defence of her partner of 18 years.
She told the jury the couple left the UK for Spain to prevent their children being taken from them by social services after the allegations of child sex abuse were first made in August 2007.
Smith, who had regular access to the girl, began abusing her when she was aged seven and the offences continued for almost a decade, it is alleged.
The victim, now in her 20s, told the jury Smith would attempt to hypnotise, hit and bully her to ensure she complied.
But during the week-long trial her testimony was described as "absolute fiction".
Smith, originally from North Shields, denies 11 specimen counts of rape, attempted rape, indecency with a child and indecent assault over a period of nine years.