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‘She looked like she saw a ghost’, Mom of alleged victim tells court

A mother told Magistrates’ Court that she felt hurt and helpless after her daughter told her that she had been touched inappropriately by a man while playing with friends.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said she learnt of the incident after she noticed her daughter react after seeing the man she said touched her.

“She was shook,” she said. “She looked like she saw a ghost.”

She told the court that as soon as her daughter told her about the incident her friend – another young girl – said she had also been touched by the defendant.

“She seemed relieved that someone was listening,” the witness said. “I tried to process what they said and I drove out of the yard as I didn’t want to act on my emotion in front of my children.

“I was a little bit in denial. I just didn’t think something like that would happen.”

Earlier in the trial the court heard evidence from both young girls who alleged that they had both been inappropriately touched by the defendant, a 48-year-old Sandys man who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The man has denied the offences, which allegedly happened on different dates between August 1 and September 30 last year.

The girl said she was touched while she played with a friend in a place she called a “clubhouse”, while the second girl said that the defendant had asked her to sit in his lap before touching her.

The mother said that during the period the offences allegedly occurred she would occasionally bring her daughter to the home of a family friend in Sandys to play with their children.

She said her daughter had been told that she should not leave the yard or go to the other side of a wall.

The witness said she knew the defendant and his friends would drink and smoke on the other side of the wall and did not feel it would be appropriate for children to be there.

She said that because the “clubhouse” where the incident took place was on the other side of the wall, her daughter may have been hesitant to tell her about what had happened.

The witness denied that she had any issues with the defendant before the incident.

The court also heard evidence from the mother and the aunt of the second victim.

Her mother told the court that she heard about the incident from her mother – the victim’s grandmother – and asked the girl about what happened.

She said she did not act on the allegation at the time because she did not know if it was true, and the girl’s father did not believe she was telling the truth.

“He thought she was lying because he knows the defendant personally,” she said. “In his mind he thought there was no way he would do that to her child so he thought his daughter was lying.

“I was still in disbelief. I didn’t know what to do. I tried to keep her away from the house but she liked going over there, so after that incident I was there when she was from then on.”

The child’s aunt said she heard about what had happened from a friend and spoke with the girl about it soon after, at which time she gave her version of the events.

“She seemed initially to be a bit reluctant to talk about it, however as I continued to talk to her and express that she could tell me anything, she opened up,” she said.

“She seemed a bit taken back by the fact I was asking certain questions. It was sort of ‘how do you know that?’”

She said that after the conversation she reached out to a police officer she knew.

The trial continues later this month.

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