Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 14°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.

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

0 comments

The crash is causing severe delays

Emergency services were called to a crash on the A12 at Eight Ash Green this afternoon to free a man trapped in his car.

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss visited the Riverside Theatre, Woodbridge, in August as part of its Riverside Nights programme

A cinema has revealed plans to install a second screen – 100 years after it opened in a Suffolk town.

12-20 Upper Orwell Street, which could be demolished and regenerated if plans by the East of England Co-op go through

A derelict building in Upper Orwell Street which has been empty for decades could be set for demolition if new plans for the area are approved.

GB Paralympic swimmer, Ryan Crouch, is pictured at Crown Pools in Ipswich.

The Olympics may have finished but the Games are not over yet – next month it is the turn of the Paralympics to take over Brazil.

The EACHFest event held for service users of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and their families

Young people with life-threatening conditions were treated to their very own festival by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) recently.

Alexanders College at Bawdsey

A boarding school is closing after more than 20 years of educating international students in east Suffolk.

Ixworth Primary School could need to expand further.

The full scale of the new school-building programme needed to keep up with the population growth in Suffolk over the next few years will be laid out to councillors next month.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24