A former BBC presenter on trial for abusing children has told a court how he once enjoyed spanking sessions dressed as a schoolboy.
Michael Souter, 60, is accused of 19 sex offences against seven boys and making and possessing indecent images of children.
A jury heard that police found numerous pairs of schoolboy shorts, bamboo sticks and sex toys when they searched the ex-BBC Radio Norfolk presenter’s home.
Souter told Norfolk Crown Court he used the outfits to relax on visits to someone who played “headteacher” and “disciplined” him with a cane.
He said: “The bottom line is in periods where I was under extreme stress it was a way of escaping from the stress and being able to deal with it.
“I’ve never been one for going the doctor and saying ‘I’m under stress, please prescribe something’.”
Souter said role-play became an “important” part of his life in about 1992 or 1993.
He added: “I would dress up as a schoolboy. Most often it was a case of going to see somebody who was playing a headmaster or a housemaster.
“You would bend over in your shorts and be slippered or caned.”
The court heard that Souter told police he dressed as a schoolboy “to regress to a time when people loved and cared for him and bought him presents.”
Souter admitted one ‘casual’ homosexual encounter when he was in the Royal Navy and confessed to a boy performing a sex act on him in his home.
But he insisted he was heterosexual and said: “I wish I could explain.
“I’ve always had a bit of bisexuality in me. It happened. That’s it, really.”
Earlier the court heard claims that Souter gave alcohol to one boy before abusing him.
Souter said teenagers who visited his home in Loddon, Norfolk were sometimes allowed to drink beer but he said none had ever got drunk.
Asked if he had assaulted another boy he said: “Absolutely not. I was flabbergasted when it was put to me. I was astounded when I heard it.”
Souter denies 19 sex offences against seven boys and nine counts of making and possessing indecent images of children.
The court heard he was arrested in September 1993 following sexual abuse allegations but the case was not proceeded with.
Souter presented a number of shows for BBC Radio Norfolk from its launch in 1980 until the 1990s.
Since 1989 he has worked as a freelance broadcaster and runs a media relations consultancy.
The trial continues.