Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Teacher and athletics coach was “controlling and manipulative’ while committing 21 sex assaults on teenage girls, court told

21:05 26 February 2013

Stephen Benson leaving Ipswich Crown Court.

Stephen Benson leaving Ipswich Crown Court.

A “CONTROLLING and manipulative” top athletics coach from Suffolk raped and sexually assaulted three teenage girls after “worming” his way into their families, it has been alleged.

shares

Stephen Benson, who was a coach with Ipswich Harriers and also taught PE at Copleston High School in Ipswich, allegedly groomed the girls for sex after convincing them and their parents they could be stars of the future, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Benson, 50, who was described as “charming, intelligent, manipulative and controlling” persuaded his young protégée that “running was the only way to live” and gradually inveigled his way into their families, said Riel Karmy-Jones, prosecuting.

A jury heard that Benson became so involved in the girls’ lives that he would regularly have supper with them.

One of the alleged victims told police that before Benson became her trainer she went to the cinema and had sleepovers with friends but as he became more and more involved in her life all these had stopped. “He began to control her diet, her spare time and her life,” alleged Miss Karmy-Jones.

Benson, 50, of Pearsons Way, Copdock, has denied 11 offences of rape, six offences of indecent assault, two offences of sexual activity with a child and two of sexual assault.

Opening the case to the jury Miss Karmy-Jones 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 hadn’t complained to anyone about what was happening because they were either too embarrassed or didn’t think anyone would believe them.

Miss Karmy-Jones 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. She alleged that Benson had “massive mood swings” and claimed he had told one of the girls he wouldn’t train her if she didn’t let him have sex with her.

She said the same alleged victim had described her relationship with Benson as “claustrophobic” and said he seemed to be obsessed with her.

The girl had also told police that she knew that Benson would “make her life hell” if she didn’t have sex with him.

The court heard that after his arrest Benson had denied the allegations and claimed that one of the alleged victims had a crush on him and wasn’t trustworthy.

He accepted having a sexual relationship with one of the other alleged victims but claimed it was in the later stages of his involvement with her and had been consensual.

He denied having any form of sexual relationship with the third alleged victim.

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

shares
Lord Deben John Gummer, Christine Block, from Deben Estuary Partnership, Karen Thomas, from Water Management Alliance, Graham Henderson, from DEP, Simon Amstutz, from AONB, Therese Coffey MP, David Kemp from the Environment Agency, and Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Andy Smith gathered to launch the Deben Estuary Plan.

Three years of work have created a new community-led blueprint to protect and manage one of Suffolk’s treasures, the River Deben estuary

Detectives investigating a burglary at a home in Colchester have issued an efit of a man they would like to identify in connection with the incident.

Age UK is looking for volunteers to take part in a video

Bosses at Age UK Suffolk are looking for 10 older people to take part in a new promotional video that is being made to show off the work of the charity.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Rail delays at Colchester have been caused by a broken down train.

Rendlesham Care Centre rated ‘good’ by CQC (L-R) Danielle Brown, Administrator; Liz Slight, Home Manager; Maxine Crisp, Carer; Fabian Lossa, Carer; Rachael Last, Receptionist

Rendlesham Care Centre was found to provide a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service according to the CQC report.

A diversion has been put in place

Severe traffic delays in Chelmsford have been caused by a traffic collision.

Woodbridge Carnival fireworks 2015.

People in an east Suffolk town are being asked to vote with their cash if they want a fireworks display next year.

Station Hill in Bury St Edmunds, which is being redeveloped.

Plans for more than 100 flats near the train station in Bury St Edmunds - an area of the town that is earmarked for regeneration - have been recommended to be refused.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey (centre) with members of her team and Fern Howard (left) from the Alzheimer’s Society

It follows a visit by the Alzheimer’s Society, who run the Dementia Friends scheme, to help Dr Coffey and her staff understand the effect of dementia on everyday lives.

Lifeboat

Coastguard services were called to rescue a teenager in Corton, near Lowestoft yesterday evening.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages