Forklift driver denies sex attack

A FORKLIFT truck driver charged with a sex attack has told a court how he pretended to be a strippergram as he was a practical joker.Justin Nicholson, 24, went to a woman's home in January after telephoning her to say he was a strippergram and would be coming to see her.

A FORKLIFT truck driver charged with a sex attack has told a court how he pretended to be a strippergram as he was a practical joker.

Justin Nicholson, 24, went to a woman's home in January after telephoning her to say he was a strippergram and would be coming to see her.

But as a result of the incident Nicholson, of Hunter Drive, Lawford, was charged with indecent assault.

A jury at Chelmsford Crown Court has heard the prosecution allege that Nicholson pushed his way into the woman's home, stripped off and indecently assaulted her.

But Nicholson told police interview he was joking and did not think she would go through with it.

Yesterday he went in the witness box and denied indecently assaulting the 56-year-old.

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Nicholson said the woman had consented and seemed "happy and fine".

He added he had not taken his clothes off himself, but the alleged victim had undressed him.

Nicholson said he then stood with his legs either side of the woman, who was sitting in a chair, and she touched his chest and genitals voluntarily.

"I never forced her the whole time I was there," he said.

"I asked her if she wanted another feel and she said she didn't know and she was worried that her husband might find out."

Nicholson said he spent about 15 minutes at the house and he shook the woman's hand when he left.

Cross-examined by Samantha Leigh, prosecuting, Nicholson agreed that the incident was a "funny sort of practical joke and not a particularly nice thing to have done."

He said he and his friends were practical jokers, adding: "We sometimes send pizzas round and stuff to people who haven't ordered them, not just me but all my friends."

Nicholson said he had never played a joke like that before but he did not feel embarrassed being naked in front of the woman.

Asked why the woman would make up the claims, Nicholson said: "I'm saying she was worried her husband might leave her or something and has got to make it up to make it sound like she was in the right.

"They have been married 30 years so she has a lot to lose, if she said the truth there is a chance she might lose him."

The case continues today.

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