Jury to retire in trial of alleged attempted rape of schoolgirl

Ipswich Crown Court.

The jury at Ipswich Crown Court is expected to retire to consider its verdict - Credit: Archant

The jury in the trial of a 44-year-old Essex man accused of attempting to rape an 11-year-old schoolgirl nearly a decade ago is expected to retire to consider its verdict on Friday (March 11).

Ian Hammond was arrested by police in 2020 after the alleged victim, who lived in the Colchester area, told a counsellor he had sexually abused her over a period of about four months, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

During police interviews, Hammond said he thought the girl might have had a crush on him.

He denied sexually assaulting her in any way and said that although he hadn’t  “pushed her away” he hadn’t “pulled her in.”

Hammond  of Spring Chase, Wivenhoe, has denied 10 offences including seven offences of sexual assault on a child under 13, two of assault by penetration and one offence of attempted rape.

Gareth Hughes, prosecuting,  said the alleged victim claimed Hammond had touched her breasts over her clothing before touching her inside her underwear, getting her to touch his penis and attempting to rape her.