Girl (11) allegedly abused by pensioner – court is told

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An girl has told a jury that a pensioner who allegedly sexually assaulted her was “like a grandad to me.”

In a video taped interview played to a Derry Crown Court jury of seven men and five woman, the girl said the man, who was a family friend, had “always been really good” to her but that changed in the months prior to the alleged sexual assaults.

She claimed the man began to say things to her that were “really dirty,” “disgusting” and that “annoyed” her.

The 66-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies four charges of assaulting the 11-year-old girl between May 1 and July 29, 2009.

The jury heard allegations the man began by telling the child how “sexy” she was and culminated in him touching her in a sexual manner.

The girl, who is now a teenager, claimed that on one occasion the pensioner told her: “If your mammy knew I was doing this she would kill me.”

She said she would have run errands for the man, like going to the shop and alleged that on two occasions after returning from the shop he touched her.

The girl also claimed that the pensioner would give her money, but claimed: “I think it was just to keep me quiet.”

Jurors heard further allegations that on one occasion the man touched her as he was taking her and her friends to the cinema and that after they returned home he kissed her.

She also told police conducting the taped interview: “I am scared in case he comes after me. I don’t want to see him again. I just want to get on with my life.”

The girl said she did not want to tell anyone about the alleged abuse at the start because she “felt ashamed” and thought people would “think it was all my fault.”

Under cross-examination by defence QC Brian McCartney, the girl said she kept going back to the man’s house because “my mammy asked me to go over, she practically made me go over and I am not one to disobey my mammy.”

She added: “I let it go on and I shouldn’t have. I didn’t understand. He was a family friend and I was shocked because you wouldn’t expect him to do that.”

The girl denied suggestions from Mr McCartney that her evidence was inconsistent, stating: “My evidence is still the same, everything I have said is true. You are just doing your job but what I have told you is the truth.”

She told the barrister: “I have told you what happened. For someone to make something like that up, there would have to be something wrong with you.”

The trial, which is expected to last a week, continues.