A LITTLE Lever man has appeared in court charged with nine historic sex offences against children, including rape.

William Peter Bowden, aged 57, of Lancaster Drive, is charged with a range of offences which allegedly took place between 1993 and 1996.

They include three counts of rape of a girl under the age of 16, two charges of gross indecency against the same girl, and a charge of indecent assault.

He is also charged with two counts of indecently assaulting a different girl under the age of 14, and taking indecent images of a child.

Bowden will next appear at Bolton Magistrates’ Court on March 22.