Ipswich man denies sexual assault on schoolgirl more than 50 years ago

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A 78-year-old Ipswich man has denied sexually assaulting a schoolgirl more than 50 years ago.

The alleged victim, who is now in her sixties, was aged about 10 when Robert Locke allegedly touched her between the legs, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

She later claimed she was “absolutely terrified” of him and hadn’t told anyone about what had allegedly happened at the time, said Christopher Paxton, prosecuting.

He said the alleged victim was so frightened of Locke that on one occasion she had wet herself rather than walk past him to go to the toilet.

Mr Paxton told the court that when the alleged victim was about 12 Locke had allegedly got her on to the floor and told her he was going to tickle her as if “it was some sort of game”.

He had then allegedly “groped” her breasts, said Mr Paxton.

He said the alleged victim did not see Locke for a number of years after the alleged assaults but had written letters to him and his wife ten years ago accusing him of sexually assaulting her.

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She had subsequently seen Locke and his wife at a funeral and during a conversation his wife had accused her of lying about the allegations.

Mr Paxton said the alleged victim had told a relative about the alleged assaults by Locke in the 1980s.

Locke, of Swallow Road, Ipswich, has denied two offences of indecently assaulting the girl between 1962 and 1967.

Judge David Goodin has told the jury that although Locke was fit to be tried he had some disadvantages and would have an intermediary sitting next to him during the trial to assist him.

He said to assist the defendant the court would only sit for several hours a day and would take regular breaks during the trial.

Mr Paxton said that after the woman made a formal complaint to the police in the summer of 2013 Locke denied the allegations and accused her of lying.

“The primary issue for you to decide in this case is if these events took place at all,” said Mr Paxton.

The trial continues today.