Alleged sex assault victim who penned details of abuse in letter under her bed wrote 'it brings me to tears when when I see how normal other kids are', a court heard

A woman who claims she was sexually abused as a child told a jury she wrote down her experiences as they happened.

Wednesday, 26th September 2018, 3:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2018, 8:31 pm
The case is being heard at Teesside Crown Court.

The woman said she put the two page letter under her bed, and kept it there until she reported the abuse years later.

In the letter, which was read to the jury at Teesside Crown Court, she wrote: "Life at the moment is tough, I am a miserable kid.

"It brings me to tears when when I see how normal other kids are.

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"The other kids at school talk about things that have happened to me, they say it's minging for that to happen at our age.

"He would say not to tell anyone, so I'm telling a piece of paper.

"If someone reads this I hope they believe me."

She added that "it started with kissing' and he would then touch her intimately and 'force me to do it to him', the court heard.

Ephraim Smith, 50, of Lindisfarne, Peterlee, is alleged to have abused the girl in Hartlepool.

Paul Abrahams, defending, put it to the woman she had written the letter just before making the complaint, not years earlier as the abuse was happening.

"The letter is creased," said Mr Abrahams. "But it is a crisp document, it doesn't look as if it has been under someone's mattress for a long time."

The woman said she had written the letter at the time.

"It was folded under the mattress," she added.

"Then I put it in a file in a box under my bed with some other things.

"It didn't get the chance to get scrunched up."

Smith denies nine charges of sexual activity with a child.

When interviewed by police, Smith said he had no need to abuse anyone because he was happily married with a perfect sex life.

In his closing speech to the jury, prosecutor Shaun Dodds said the alleged victim's account was consistent.

"We say she wrote the letter to herself at about the time this happened, and she told the authorities about it some years later," said Mr Dodds.

"The defence say the letter is not dogeared, so may have been written much later than the victim says it is.

"That's a matter for you, but both the letter and the police interviews give consistent accounts."

Mr Dodds said one of two 'key players' in the case was not telling the truth.

He told the jury: "When Mr Smith was asked if he had sexually assaulted the girl, he replied: 'not that I know of'.

"You might think that denial was not as determined as it might be from an innocent man faced with such a serious allegation."

Defending barrister Paul Abrahams reminded the jury Smith does not have to prove his innocence.

"It is for the prosecution to prove their case," said Mr Abrahams.

"Mr Smith could have gone no comment in his police interview, and he could have declined to go into the witness box.

"By doing both those things he doesn't assume any burden of proof, it still remains with the prosecution.

"The alleged victim was very emotional in her evidence, but you should be wary of emotion.

"We have all seen people pleading on television for information about a missing loved one, then it turns out six months later they were responsible for the disappearance.

"To convict Mr Smith, you must be satisfied so that you are sure the alleged victim in this case is telling the truth.

"If you think she is probably telling the truth, or might be, that is not sufficient."

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdicts on Thursday.

The case continues.