A Belfast man has gone on trial accused of sexually abusing two young girls while he helped to babysit them.
Victor Mark Egerton (51), of Rossmore Park in the south of the city, denies five counts of indecent assault and four charges of gross indecency.
The jury of seven women and five men sitting on the trial at Belfast Crown Court heard that the sexual abuse allegedly happened between 1979 and 1981.
Prosecution counsel Kate McKay said the girls told police that they were in primary school when Egerton came to their east Belfast home with his girlfriend to babysit.
One of the complainants, now aged 44, told police that she was seven-years-old at the time the abuse allegedly started.
She said the family home was cold and when she sat on the sofa at weekends, a blanket was brought down from upstairs to keep her warm while watching television.
The court heard claims that Egerton, who was in his early teens at the time, would use the cover of the blanket to sexually abuse the girls dressed in their night clothes, who sometimes sat either side of him on the sofa.
She told detectives from the PSNI's Child Abuse Unit that she remembered Egerton would at times "send his girlfriend out to the local shop to get himself something''.
The woman said that while Egerton's girlfriend was out of the house he would allegedly carry out acts of indecent assault and gross indecency.
The complainant also alleged the sexual abuse also happened while Egerton's girlfriend was in the kitchen making tea.
Mrs McKay told the jury that the child sex abuse allegations came to light years later when the complainant told her younger sister about what had happened to her.
"She had been keeping this to herself. Her younger sister had also been keeping things to herself about what she said happened to her. A number of years then passed before anyone else was told.''
The younger sister, who is now in her early 40s, told detectives she was aged six at the time Egerton is alleged to have sexually abused her on three separate occasions.
The prosecution lawyer said Egerton was later questioned by detectives about the allegations.
"He was given his chance to give his side to the story,'' Mrs McKay told the jury sitting on the trial with Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland.
"He said that he did babysit in the house, however, he completely denied that anything of an inappropriate manner took place with the girls.''