Ipswich: Accused teacher ‘took over’ lives of alleged victim and her family - court hears

Stephen Benson

Stephen Benson

THE mother of a woman who has claimed that she was raped by Ipswich Harriers athletics coach Stephen Benson has told a court that he “took over” their lives.

Giving evidence on the fourth day of Benson’s trial at Ipswich Crown Court the witness said it got to the stage that she, her husband and her daughter had “no life whatsoever” outside running and had started ignoring Benson’s telephone calls and pretended they weren’t in if he called round.

The woman said Benson had been “very affectionate” towards her daughter but said as far as she was concerned their relationship was that of coach and runner.

She denied a suggestion from defence counsel Naomi Perry that her daughter had gone to a social engagement with Benson as his girlfriend.

“No she went as his runner not his girlfriend,” said the woman.

Benson, 50, who d 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, has claimed that over a period of 20 years from the 1980s Benson, of Pearsons Way, Copdock, abused his position and groomed a series of girls for his “own benefit and sexual gratification”.

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The trial continues.

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