Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Alleged victim gives evidence in Stephen Benson trial

14:41 27 February 2013

Stephen Benson

Stephen Benson

A WOMAN who claims she was raped by her athletics coach when she was a teenager told a court that he had sex with her after a training session.

shares

Giving evidence on the second day of the trial of Stephen Benson who has denied a string of sex offences against three schoolgirls over a period of 20 years, the woman claimed that she and Benson had gone back to his home after going out for a run together and he had suggested they had sex.

The woman has claimed that Benson started having sex with her when she was 15 and alleged it took place on between six and eight occasions without her consent.

She said after one training session when she was aged 16 she had not wanted to have sex with Benson and had become very quiet and upset.

But she accepted she had not actually said “no” to him. “I didn’t say it in words but when he tried to speak to me I didn’t speak to him,” said the woman.

She described how they had gone upstairs and had sex in his double bed but said she could not remember how they came to be undressed.

She claimed that afterwards she had cried and he had gone downstairs.

Asked by defence counsel Naomi Perry why she had not asked Benson to take her home if she was unhappy with what was taking place she replied: “I wasn’t a strong person at that point. My parents did everything for me. I wasn’t confident enough and I was scared.”

The woman told the court that after having sex she and Benson had driven to a pub but there had been an argument because she felt uncomfortable with him holding her hand and putting his arm round her.

She accepted that when she told Benson she did not want to stay at the pub he had agreed to leave and they had returned to his house where she had spent the night in his bed.

She told the court that Benson had taken her home the next day and she had hidden a friction mark on her chin, caused by Benson kissing her, with make-up before going to a family party.

The witness denied a suggestion from Mrs Perry that her parents had known about her relationship with Benson and had been happy about it.

Benson, 50, who was a coach with Ipswich Harriers and also taught PE at Copleston High School in Ipswich has denied 11 offences of rape, six offences of indecent assault, two offences of sexual activity with a child and two offences of sexual assault.

Riel Karmy-Jones, prosecuting, claimed that over a period of 20 years from the 1980s Benson abused his position and groomed a series of girls for his “own benefit and sexual gratification”.

The girls were in their mid-teens when the alleged abuse started and they had not complained to anyone about what was happening because they were either too embarrassed or didn’t think anyone would believe them, Miss Karmy-Jones said.

She accused Benson of “worming” his way into their lives and “stealing the last part of their childhoods” by drawing them into sexual relationships with him.

She claimed the girls had submitted to his demands until they were old enough to know better and managed to break away.

The court heard that after his arrest Benson denied the allegations.

The trial, which is expected to last several weeks, continues

Related articles

shares

0 comments

Tom Challis and Julia Carroll just before they left to travel the world in February.

The parents of Julia Carroll, from Boxford, have told how the 22-year-old made contact via Facebook to confirm she was safe after escaping Nepal earthquake.

Shawn Leek setting out on the first of seven marathons. Today he hopes to complete the challenge

Shawn Leek is feeling the pain today having run more than 180 miles in the past week - ending with the London Marathon this afternoon.

The Anzac Day parade from the Cornhill in Ipswich on Sunday led by the Ipswich Piping Society

Thousands of Australian and New Zealand forces who died during the First World War’s disastrous Gallipoli campaign have been commemorated on the centenary of the offensive in Ipswich today.

The Orwell District Scouts St George's Day open air service by the Leisure Centre in Felixstowe on Sunday

Scouts and Guides proudly raised their flags and paraded through Suffolk towns today to mark St George’s Day.

Angel Hall, missing 14-year-old girl from Leiston

A teenager from east Suffolk who was reported missing yesterday morning has been found safe and well.

Fire in Great Yeldham - stock photo

A ground floor flat was heavily smoke logged when fire crews arrived at the scene this afternoon.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A man who was banned from keeping dogs for 15 years after footage showed him punching and slapping his two Labradors has had the disqualification reduced from 15 years to 10.

The Revd Martin Dawes with his model train lay out at Woodbridge Methodist Church during the Toy and Model Train Show.

The pews were transformed into platforms and hymn sheets were discarded in favour of timetables as a church was transformed into a model railway network.

Lowestoft Town centre.

A fire broke out on the ground a semi-detached house on Victoria Road this morning.

Suffolk Cycle Sportive for St Elizabeth Hospice at Alton Water.

A charity has reported a rise in the number of women joining their annual Suffolk Sportive cycle event in the wake of the high-profile Women Tour passing through the county.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages