A martial arts expert accused of sexually abusing underage schoolgirls in West Fife told a jury his alleged victims were either lying or mistaken.

Gary Lee Goodrum, 38, said he had “no idea” why eight females – aged between 15 and 33 – had said in court that he committed a string of sexual offences against them.

Giving evidence in his own defence, he insisted the allegations – all made by former students of his Gary Lee Martial Arts Academy – were false.

Goodrum, who now lives in Corsiehill, Perth, is charged with seven counts of lewd, indecent and libidinous behaviour towards underage girls in Dalgety Bay and Inverkeithing between April 1998 and March 2009.

He is also accused of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old girl between 1999 and 2000 and sexual assaulting a 14-year-old kickboxer between May and October 2016.

He denies all the charges and is standing trial before a jury at the High Court in Livingston.

Under questioning by Bert Kerrigan QC, defending, Goodrum refuted the details of each of the 10 charges against him.

Asked what effect the court case has had, he replied: “It’s completely destroyed my life. I’ve lost everything.”

He claimed the allegations started after his former helper, 51-year-old Jane Cousland, and her son left his academy to start a rival martial arts club in 2016.

Mr Kerrigan asked: “You say absolutely nothing of a sexual nature happened with some of these girls. Why has this series of allegations of under 16 activity been made?”

He answered: “When Jane left everything went belly up. Everybody started hitting me because of everything that Jane was doing: trying to take all my students, making false claims about how much I was earning, making false claims.

"At that stage everything collapsed.”

Mr Kerrigan asked: “Any idea why anybody would want to make these allegations against you if they were not true?”

He replied: “I’ve no idea.”

Under cross examination by advocate depute Stephen McCloy, Goodrum claimed that all the witnesses who gave evidence against him were “either mistaken or lying” and he had done none of the things alleged.

Mr McCloy asked him: “Is the truth of the matter not that you abused these girls?”

Goodrum said: “No.”

When Mr McCloy asked: “What do you understand by the term grooming?”

Goodrum responded: “Befriending someone so you can perform sexual acts with them.”

Mr McCloy said: “From there build up a friendly relationship, a relationship of trust then abuse that relationship of trust by having sexual contact with them?”

Goodrum said: “Yes.”

The advocate depute suggested: “Is that not what happened here? You have groomed these girls and you have continued on a course of conduct which has (continued for) decades, that you’ve groomed children that you had access to. Is that not the case?”

Goodrum replied: “No.”

Mr McCloy said: “It’s not the women who gave evidence that have been perjuring themselves in the High Court of Justiciary, it’s you.”

Again Goodrum answered: “No.”

Earlier, the jury heard evidence that Goodrum sexually assaulted one 15 year-old with a set of nunchuck sticks, and groped and performed sex acts with teenage girls in his car and at his academy premises in an industrial estate in Dalgety Bay, at an annexe of Inverkeithing High School and at other addresses in Fife.

The trial before judge Lord Woolman, continues.