Alleged sex assault victim says he was abused by several men in toilets

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

An alleged victim of child abuse choked back tears as he told a jury how he was abused by several men in public toilets in Hartlepool.

The victim said he went willingly to the Burn Valley toilets, but couldn't say why he did so.

"My dad was brutal with me," he said. "I effectively became estranged from my parents.

"I was about 13 or 14-years-old when I first met a man I came to know as Bob.

"I saw him later in both toilet blocks in Burn Valley Gardens, he would go from one to the other.

"He was a big, tall, strong man, he had a fat belly, and always carried a carrier bag.

"He had hairy arms, and you could see chest hair poking up from his shirt collar.

"I later learned he was what they call in the homosexual community a bear."

The victim said he saw Bob standing by the urinals in the toilets.

"He was playing with himself," the victim added. "He looked down, looked at me, and looked down again.

"I kind of knew what was expected, I did what he wanted me to do."

The court heard the victim was abused by the same man on nine or 10 occasions.

"Bob" was identified many years later as Robert Black after the victim saw him in the centre of Hartlepool.

Black, 71, of Derwent Grange, Hartlepool, denies five charges of indecent assault, and one serious sexual offence, all in the 1970s and early 80s.

Also in the dock at Teesside Crown Court are four other men who are accused of abusing the same victim.

Geoff Hillier, 72, of Haswell Avenue, Hartlepool, denies two charges of indecent assault, and two serious sexual offences, all in the 1980s.

Alan Edmenson, 66, of Ibrox Grove, Hartlepool, denies one charge of indecent assault in the 1970s and early 80s.

Joseph Brown, 81, of Front Street, Hart, denies one charge of indecent assault between in the 1980s.

Peter Watts, 72, of Oxford Road, Hartlepool, denies five charges of indecent assault in the late 1970s.

The trial is expected to last up to three weeks.

Proceeding.