A MAN accused of a catalogue of sexual offences threatened to “jump off a quarry” when he was confronted about the allegations, a jury heard.

Matthew Tovey, aged 39, of Elm Close, Trevethin, Pontypool, has gone on trial at Newport Crown Court.

Prosecutor Claire Pickthall told the jury that the defendant is responsible for three rapes and 18 sexual assaults against three women.

He is also accused of attacking one of the complainants when she was 15 and faces two counts of sexual activity with a child in respect of that alleged victim.

Tovey, who was wearing a check shirt, jeans and brown shoes during the proceedings, denies the allegations against him.

He is being defended by his barrister Marian Lewis.

The jury of six men and six women heard from a witness, who is not a complainant, that she had challenged him after she heard of the accusations.

Miss Pickthall asked her to tell the court of what happened.

She said that during a telephone call with the defendant he had told her: “I’m sorry. I’m going to jump off a quarry.”

The witness said that the conversation then ended.

She also said that one of the complainants was “crying, upset and angry” when she told her of how she had been sexually abused by Tovey.

That alleged victim also told the court how the defendant had done “bad stuff” to her and had “touched her up”.

Miss Lewis put it to her that she had not been sexually assaulted by her client, but the complainant maintained that she had.

The defence’s case is due to start today and the trial, now entering its fifth day, is due to last into next week.

It is being presided over by Judge Patrick Curran QC.