A CHARD man has appeared in court facing historic charges of sexual assaults on a young boy.

Robert Gage, aged 49, of Dominy Close, appeared in the dock at Taunton Crown Court on Monday for a timetable to be set ahead of a trial.

He is charged with three counts of indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 14 at Chard between December 31, 1979 and January 1, 1981.

He has pleaded not guilty to all three charges and will next appear at Taunton Crown Court on August 29 for a plea and case management hearing.

He was released on unconditional bail.