Felixstowe: Woman didn’t mention sex assault in meeting with sister of accused, court hears

FELIXSTOWE: The sister of a Felixstowe customs officer accused of sexually assaulting a young girl more than 30 years ago has told a court that she saw the alleged victim two years ago and she had not mentioned any allegations against her brother.

Sandra Beresford, of Barham, told Ipswich Crown Court she had known the alleged victim as a child but had not seen her for many years until a chance meeting.

“She was quite at ease with me,” said Mrs Beresford. The week after that meeting, in Ipswich town centre, Mrs Beresford had been at Felixstowe Leisure Centre and had bumped into the alleged victim, who is now in her thirties, again.

She told the court: “She made a point of coming over and commented on how strange it was that we hadn’t seen each other for years and that we should then see each other twice in a week.”

Mrs Beresford said she had also seen the woman at a funeral and on none of these occasions had the alleged victim made any allegations about her brother.

Ian Flatman, 52, of King Street, Felixstowe, has denied three offences of indecent assault between May 1976 and May 1978.

At the time of the alleged offences Flatman was in his late teens and the alleged victim was aged four to six.

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Two of the offences allegedly took place at a fish and chip shop run by Flatman’s parents in Beach Station Road, Felixstowe, and the other at the alleged victim’s home.

The alleged victim made a statement to police in March 2010 and Flatman, who has always denied the offences, was arrested the next month.

Mrs Beresford told the court that she had seven grandchildren and would have no hesitation in trusting her brother with any of them.

The trial continues today.

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