Alleged groping victim defends allegation

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A WOMAN who claimed a man groped her told police he had not done anything.

The woman told a jury at Durham Crown Court she made the remark to officers investigating her complaint, because she thought no criminal offence had been committed.

“I knew what he did was wrong,” she said. “But because he didn’t rape me I didn’t think it was an offence.

“I had never heard of sexual assault. It’s not something you see on the telly every day. I just thought it was the same as rape.”

Shaun Tinkler, 24, of Dudden Close, Peterlee, denies two charges of sexual assault.

The jury heard earlier it is alleged he groped the woman and forced her to kiss him as they were sitting in her lounge, and he is alleged to have simulated sex with her in the kitchen.

Lorraine Mustard, cross-examining the woman, said she later told a health visitor that another man – not Tinkler – had assaulted her.

“That is not true,” said the woman. “I did tell the health visitor what had happened, but she got confused and thought I was talking about someone else. She has since apologised.”

Ms Mustard suggested to the woman she had shared a cigarette with Tinkler after the alleged assault, indicating they were on good terms.

But the woman said: “I don’t smoke in the house, and nobody else does, so that didn’t happen.”