Alleged sex attack victim said he was ‘groomed for life’

Gerald Martin.
Gerald Martin.

A man who claims he had sex with an undertaker both as a child and as an adult told a jury how he had been ‘groomed for life’.

The alleged victim of Gerald Martin said he had sexual encounters ‘numerous times’ with Martin in his early teens, but had also had sex with him years later.

“When I was an adult I saw Martin around Hartlepool,” the alleged victim told Teesside Crown Court. “I talked to him, but I was married with children and didn’t want to be controlled any more.

“He never bothered me, I never bothered him.”

The jury heard Martin gave the alleged victim a lift to visit his parents and council offices in Hartlepool.

“He phoned me later,” said the alleged victim. “He asked to come round, he did, and we had sex.

“People might think that odd, but when you are groomed, you are groomed for life.

“They own you, it doesn’t matter how old you are, you are moulded and you cannot be un-moulded.

“They keep on controlling you.

“I didn’t want this case, I made no complaint, it was the police who came to me after they were given my name by somebody else.”

The alleged victim told the court as a child he had sexual encounters in the Burn Valley Gardens public toilets with other men as well as Martin.

“It was like a conveyor belt,” he said. “I would see the same faces in the same places. They praise you, make you feel good, they get inside your head.

“You feel good at the time, only later do you feel horrible.

“I would generally see Martin in the toilets, he would talk to me, make comments, and perform sex acts on me.

“He offered me 50p or a £1, there were some things he wanted to do which I wouldn’t.”

The alleged victim described how sex took place with Martin in the toilets and at Martin’s funeral parlour in Park Road, Hartlepool.

“Sometimes it was a bit risky in the toilets,” said the alleged victim. “Martin would suggest we go somewhere more comfortable.

“When I first went to the funeral place I got the shock of my life, it’s a place of respect, not a place for what was about to happen.

“I went back there numerous times, maybe 10 times over a couple of years.

“I was also taken to the hotel next door by Martin.

“We would have tea or coffee, he was nice to me, he would come at me, not forcefully, then we would have a sexual act.”

The jury has now heard from all five of Martin’s alleged victims.

Martin, 66, of Valley Close, Hartlepool, denies 13 sex offences and one charge of false imprisonment.

The case is in its second week and was expected to last for three weeks.

In police interviews read to the court, Martin denied ever having sexual encounters with children.

He admitted having homosexual encounters with men.

“Those encounters were always consensual,” he said. “And the men they were with were always adult men.

“I’ve never had any sex in the Burn Valley toilets or the funeral home.

“I don’t know the names of all the men I’ve had sex with, but all the acts were consensual and in private.”

One of Martin’s victims claims they had sex in toilets known as the ‘tin toilets’, which used to be near the Binn’s store in the centre of Hartlepool.

“I know of those toilets,” Martin told police. “I used to park near there when I was at the college nearby.

“If I went in, it would be to spend a penny.

“I knew of the rumours about the toilets being used for ‘cottaging’; by homosexual men, but it was not for me to go in there for sex.

“I’m not saying what the lad says happened in there did not happen, but it didn’t happen with me.”