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Woman tells court her memory of sex assault was clear

A woman who said she had been sexually assaulted for years as a child insisted yesterday that her memories were clear despite being “very fragmented”.

The woman, now 35, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the Supreme Court that she remembered the assaults, which were alleged to have happened during the 1990s, despite being aged about 5 at the time.

She told the court: “Do I remember how he got me to do these things? No, but I knew time and time again that this was happening.”

The woman, who first took the stand last Wednesday, admitted that it would have been unusual for her to spend time around someone she thought was “a scary person” and not say anything about it.

But she added: “’Scary’ was something that happened a lot in my childhood, so he, for me, would have been normal.

“I had no family around me to help me and support me, I was in and out of Child and Family Services, in and out of foster care and I have been molested for years.

“So scary is normal for me. These are things that I had to go through by myself as a kid for years.”

The woman was speaking as Charles Richardson, for the defence, finished his cross-examination.

Mr Richardson’s client, now 58, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, has denied nine sex offences involving the witness and her older sister, both of whom were minors at the time.

Four of the alleged offences were said in court to have involved the witness while five were said to have involved the middle sister, who was 12 when they were alleged to have started.

The woman previously told the court that a man who lived with her and her family in the 1990s had abused her at least four times in about three years.

She added that the assaults ended in the mid-1990s when her brother moved into the house and that she left soon afterwards.

The woman said that she had eventually confessed the incidents to her therapist and foster parents, as well as her middle sister, another complainant in the case.

Mr Richardson suggested that the woman’s memory was “very fragmented” and that many people would not remember much when aged that young.

He also suggested the vehicle that she claimed belonged to the defendant and that she said he assaulted her in actually belonged to her parents.

Mr Richardson added that her parents never let him borrow the car, “especially with you girls in them”.

He suggested that the woman, who said that she spoke to her grandmother from the man’s room moments before she was assaulted, never spoke with her grandmother and added that it would have raised too many suspicions.

The woman insisted: “I know my truth; I know what happened to me.”

The trial, before Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe, continues.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.