Alleged sexual assault victim 'returned home with holes in tights'

Ipswich Crown Court

Alfie Gilham is on trial at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A schoolgirl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old man during a party at a Suffolk bowls club returned home with holes in her tights, a jury has heard. 

Alfie Gilham, now 23, is alleged to have touched the 14-year-old girl's leg while they were sitting down at the party - which was held at Kirkley Bowls Club in December 2018. 

Stephen Rose, prosecuting, previously told Ipswich Crown Court that the girl didn't know what to do, and had got up and gone to the toilet. 

Later in the evening, Gilham allegedly approached the girl as she stood up to get her drink and grabbed her between the legs.

“His hand went inside her clothing. She was wearing a playsuit and he touched her over her underwear and tights,” Mr Rose said. 

Giving evidence on the second day of the trial, the alleged victim's mother, who had been at the party, told the jury that her daughter was drinking soft drinks that she had bought for her. 

She said after returning home from the party, she noticed some "finger holes" on her daughter's tights around her thigh. 

Most Read

The alleged victim's mother said the tights "were not laddered", and that she had not seen the holes previously. 

She told the jury she pointed the holes out to her daughter, who acknowledged the holes but nothing further was discussed that evening. 

The following morning, the girl did tell her mother that she had been touched by Gilham, the court heard. 

But the girl initially did not want to report the alleged offending, the jury heard. 

Asked by Mr Rose why she did not want to report it at first, the alleged victim's mother said: "Because she did not think anyone would believe her."

The mother said her daughter had told someone else at the party during the evening. 

The girl then later reported the alleged offending to her school, the court heard. 

Gilham, of Avondale Road, Lowestoft, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the girl, and denied the allegation following his arrest. 

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