A DRIVING instructor has denied accusations of sexually touching 11 girl learners over a six-year period.

Scott Kenneth Hawkins, 41, of The Leat, Bishops Lydeard, pleaded not guilty at Taunton Crown Court on Monday to 12 counts of sexual assault – two of the charges relating to the same alleged victim.

The offences are alleged to have taken place without the consent of the complainants between 2007 and last year.

Mr Recorder Adam Vaitilingham QC adjourned the case for trial, which is estimated to last six or seven days, and released Mr Hawkins on conditional bail.

William Hunter, prosecuting, said the Crown Prosecution Service could possibly reduce the number of charges.