Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Running coach gave alleged victim gifts, court told

06:00 06 March 2013

Stephen Benson leaving Ipswich Crown Court.

Stephen Benson leaving Ipswich Crown Court.

A SUFFOLK running coach allegedly “showered” a teenage girl he is accused of raping with gifts, a court has heard.

shares

Giving evidence at the trial of Ipswich Harriers coach Stephen Benson the alleged victim claimed he had bought her flowers, chocolates and a jewellery box.

She accused Benson of “controlling” her life and denied a suggestion from defence counsel Naomi Perry that he had bought chocolates and flowers for other members of her family and not just for her.

The alleged victim, who claims Benson, of Pearsons Way, Copdock, raped and sexually assaulted her between the ages of 15 and 18, told the court that after some training sessions he would stay and have supper with her family and had started going to her room to chat with her about training and races.

She said it was during these visits to her room that he would give her gifts and had also forced her to perform sex acts on him.

The alleged victim also claimed that when she was 14 Benson had brought grapes along to a training session and had got her and another girl to pass the grapes to him with their mouths.

“He made us repeatedly put grapes into our mouths and to feed them into his mouth,” she told the court.

She said she had thought it was an inappropriate thing to do but said she had done it because Benson told her to do it. “I did as I was told,” she added.

Cross-examined by Mrs Perry the alleged victim accepted she had sent Benson a card in which she described him as “the most important person in my life” and had put kisses on it.

She denied a suggestion from Mrs Perry that she wouldn’t have sent a card like that to Benson if the allegations she had made against him were true. “He was my coach and I put kisses on all my cards,” she said.

Benson, 50, who taught PE at Copleston High School in Ipswich as well as being a coach with Ipswich Harriers, 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, has 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.

The court heard that after his arrest Benson denied the allegations. The trial, which is expected to last several weeks, continues today.

shares

0 comments

Colchester General Hospital

A new permanent chief executive has been appointed to lead the trust running Colchester’s hospitals.

The Red Arrows thrill the crowds at the Clacton Air Show.

A record 220,000 people attended the Clacton Airshow over the last two days – leaving organisers content that they had made the right decision to host the event so soon after recent tragic events.

One lane of the A12 has been closed because of a multi-vehicle collision.

Chelmsford Crown Court

A Lakenheath man convicted of sexual abuse of boys in Essex has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

The Woodbridge Heritage Group are campaigning against the proposed relocation of

For 35 years it has been rooted to the same spot in a Suffolk town – representing a defiant stand against an unyielding adversary.

An efit has been released by police after an attempted robbery

Police want to trace two men in connection with an attempted robbery in Bury St Edmunds.

Town players Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse visited The Suffolk Punch Trust in Hollesley on Thursday 27 August and officially named the charity’s newest male foal as Bluey. 

The naming of the male foal comes as part of a new partnership between the Football Club and the Suffolk Punch charity. Ipswich Town will be working to support the work of the rare horse breed charity by offering assistance with fundraising and awareness campaigns.
L-R Luke Chambers,Bluey,Cole Skuse,Rob Lambert and Alex Bailey.

Everybody, meet Bluey - the newest addition to the team at the Suffolk Punch Trust, officially named by Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers and player Cole Skuse yesterday.

More needs to be done to keep cyclists safe in Ipswich

More action is needed to making cycling in Ipswich safe and accessible.

Police were called to the scene

Police are urging residents not to leave valuable items in their cars and make sure outbuildings are secure following a spate of thefts from vehicles and garages this week.

Two-vehicle crash on the B1119 between Framlingham and Saxmundham

A two-car crash has blocked part of the B1119 in Framlingham, at the crossroads of the main roads to Cransford and Glemham.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages