Man accused of schoolgirl abuse

Man accused of schoolgirl abuse

A Co Antrim man sexually abused and raped his schoolgirl neighbour for nine years, a jury has heard.

The Belfast Crown Court was told that although the alleged victim's ordeal at the hands of Gerard Auld, 28, ended in September 2007, the woman, now 23, did not feel able to come forward to report the allegations until 2009.

Auld, with an address at Landgarve Manor in Crumlin, denies a total of eight offences including indecent assault, gross indecency and rape, allegedly committed on dates unknown between 5 September 1998 and 2 September 2007.

Opening the Crown case again Auld, prosecution QC Jackie Orr warned the jury, of eight men and four women, that despite the nature of the sexual allegations, they would have to set aside any feelings of sympathy or prejudice and instead, decide the case on a common sense and calculated approach.

She outlined how Auld and his alleged victim, who has waived her right to anonymity, had known each other for years and had lived across the street from each other, but that he began to sexually abuse the girl when she was around the age of nine.

The lawyer said the woman would give evidence of how Auld "indecently touched her, exposed himself to her and twice had sex with her without her consent".

The first alleged incident happened in the girl's bedroom when Auld allegedly bounced her up and down on his legs with the girl straddling him while allegedly touching himself, an act he committed "more than once" the jury heard.

Although Ms Orr said there was then a gap of around two and a half years when the alleged victim was not abused or touched, it began again when she was aged around 11 and a half and allegedly received a phonecall from Auld.

."He asked her to look out her bedroom window," claimed the lawyer.

The girl looked out and as she did, she could see the defendant lying on a sofa in his house, completely naked, facing the window and with his hand on his genitals, the lawyer explained.

The first alleged rape happened in the woman's own bedroom when she was around 17 and still in her school uniform, the jury heard.

They were in her room as Auld had asked her to use her computer to look up cheap flights - but instead put his hand down her blouse and begged: "Let me, let me."

When she threatened to call her mother, he allegedly "grabbed her by the hair and took off her tights" and raped her.

Despite her protestations Auld carried on and when he was finished, Ms Orr said he went downstairs "said 'cheerio' to her mother and then left."

Another alleged rape happened in his Manchester United decorated bedroom when he had sex with her on his bed despite her trying to push him away, but this time the alleged attack stopped when someone knocked the door and she managed to escape.

Ms Orr told the jury that while the issue of consent may be raised during the trial, she suggested to them to "look again at the allegation and anything that was said or done in deciding whether there was consent in this case".

When arrested and interviewed, Auld accepted he knew his alleged victim but regarding her allegations, he said: "It's right to say that from the start to the finish, he denied each and every one of the allegations."

Ms Orr declared to the jury, however, that by the end of the case when they have heard all of the evidence "you will be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of each and every one of the charges".

The trial continues. At hearing.


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