A MAN has appeared in court to face a string of child abuse charges.

Paul Phillips, 57, is charged with ten counts of abuse or attempted abuse of a girl under 16 years of age.

The charges include attempting to engage in multiple types of sexual communication with the girl, including sending indecent images of himself and attempting to get a child aged under 13 to look at an image of sexual activity.

Another further charge alleges he possessed an indecent category A image of a child - the most serious kind - and possessed one image of extreme animal pornography involving a person and a cow.

All of the counts are alleged to have taken place between March and May last year.

Phillips, of Amberden, Basildon, appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

He dressed in a green jacket and dark shirt and wore glasses.

He remained impassive through most of the hearing, speaking only to confirm his name and address.

He did not enter any pleas for any of the charges against him.

The magistrates’ bench, upon review of the charges, felt they were too serious for them to deal with at that court and the case has been referred straight to the crown courts.

Phillips indicated he would not enter any pleas and then left the court room.

The case will now be heard at Basildon Crown Court on January 9 next year, or seven days thereafter.

If he denies the charges, a trial will be held at that court at a later date.

If he admits them, he could face considerable time in prison due to the severity of the alleged crimes.

Phillips was released on unconditional bail.