Man accused of sex abuse was ‘like a god’ to alleged victim, court hears

Robin Croft is standing trial at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Robin Croft is standing trial at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A Suffolk man accused of sexually abusing a shy and quiet schoolboy was “like a god” to his alleged victim, a court has heard.

Standing trial at Ipswich Crown Court is Robin Croft, who has denied seven offences of sexual activity with child and six offences of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

It is alleged that Croft, 61, of Marigold Drive, Red Lodge, took advantage of the schoolboy and groomed him for sex.

The offences date back more than a decade.

The mother of the alleged victim gave evidence at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday and described her son as being "shy and quiet".

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She said Croft was "like a god" to the alleged victim and that he took her son "under his wing".

She also said her son "looked up" to Croft and "treated him like a father figure".

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She told the jury she did raise concerns about the nature of their relationship at the time, but both Croft and her son assured her there was nothing to worry about.

The alleged victim's mother told the jury she once approached Croft and told him: "I don't think it's right that a young child has a fascination with you."

She told the jury that Croft replied that he didn't think it was right either, but that the alleged victim was "stubborn" and enjoyed spending time with him.

In one incident, the alleged victim's mother said she had received a telephone call from Croft to say he had run her son a saltwater bath to treat an injury he had.

Croft shared a number of interests with the teenager and allegedly gave him alcohol to manipulate him, the court previously heard.

Emma Nash, prosecuting, said Croft "took advantage" of the schoolboy and "groomed him for sex".

During police interviews Croft claimed the schoolboy had been "besotted" with him and had made sexual advances to him which he had rejected.

"He said the allegations were absolutely untrue and nothing but lies," said Miss Nash.

She said Croft claimed the alleged victim had made up the allegations to get him into trouble after they fell out.

The alleged victim contacted the police in January 2017 and Croft was arrested two months later, the court previously heard.

The trial continues.

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