Taxi driver denies sexual assault of girl

Ipswich Crown Court

Mark Ryan has denied oral rape, two offences of assault by penetration and sexual assault. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk taxi driver sexually assaulted a schoolgirl after asking her to do household chores at his home, it has been alleged.

Mark Ryan had contacted the teenager on Facebook after meeting her at a taxi office and arranged for her to go to his home in Feltwell Place in Haverhill, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

On one occasion while the 13-year-old was doing the washing-up in his kitchen he had put his arm round her chest and waist before allegedly sexually assaulting her, said Stephen Rose, prosecuting.

She had asked him what he was doing and he told her to "relax". 

He had then taken down his trousers and allegedly forced her to perform a sex act on him.

Afterwards Ryan had been affectionate towards her and they had watched a film before he sent her out to get fish and chips.

He had later driven her home and she hadn’t said anything to anyone about what had happened at the time, said Mr Rose.

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The girl had continued to visit Ryan’s home and he had allegedly orally raped her on four further occasions and touched her sexually on one occasion.

He had also allegedly taken hold of her hand and forced her to touch him sexually when she took him a cup of coffee while he was in bed.

Mr Rose said that although the complainant didn’t report Ryan to the police until 2019 she had told some of her friends what he had allegedly done to her.

Ryan, 50, of St James’ Court, Haverhill, has denied oral rape, two offences of assault by penetration and sexual assault.

The offences are alleged to have been committed in the early part of 2009 when Ryan was 39.

When Ryan was interviewed by police about the alleged offences he admitted having Facebook communication with the girl but denied that anything of a sexual nature had taken place.

He said he thought she might have had a crush on him but he’d stopped it.

The court heard that Ryan, who was working as a taxi driver at the time of the alleged offences, has no previous convictions.

The trial, which is expected to last the rest of this week, continues.