AN 80-YEAR-OLD newspaper columnist has denied committing gross indecency with a boy more than 40 years ago.

Appearing at Northallerton Magistrates Court, Gordon Currie, who has written a weather-related column for the Harrogate Advertiser newspaper series, pleaded not guilty to the offence.

He is alleged to have committed the offence at a farm near Thirsk between 1971 and 1976.

Former dairy farmer Currie, of Wath, near Ripon, was granted conditional bail and the case was adjourned until March 20, when he will appear before Teesside Crown Court.