Alleged victim claimed Gerald Martin dragged him from public toilets

Gerald Martin.
Gerald Martin.

An alleged victim of sexual abuse told a jury how he was taken from a public toilet and sexually abused on the top floor of a funeral parlour.

The alleged victim, now an adult, said he was a boy when a man he now knows to be Gerald Martin abducted him from the toilets before driving him to the Mason and Gerald Martin funeral parlour in Park Road, Hartlepool.

“I had been playing in the town centre with my friends,” the alleged victim told Teesside Crown Court. “It was about 7pm so it was time to go home.

“I set off to walk home, and stopped in the metal toilets which used to be near Wilkinson’s. As I was using the urinal, a man walked in, stood beside me, and reached across to touch me. He told me it would be all right, and that I should go with him. He grabbed hold of my arm and put me in the back of his car. I was struggling a bit, but I was also frightened.”

The alleged victim said he was driven to the corner of Park Road and Osborne Road in Hartlepool.

“I was taken in through a side door,” he added. “We went up two flights of stairs to a landing where there were three rooms.

“The door was open to one of them, and it was in that room that I was raped.”

Martin is alleged to have committed a serious sexual offence in the room.

“It lasted for about 10 minutes,” said the alleged victim. “The man stopped it, he then sent me away telling me he would hurt me if I told anyone. I went home, went to bed, and cried myself to sleep. I didn’t tell anyone at the time, but more recently I went through a bad patch and decided it was time to get everything out and get it sorted.”

The alleged victim described his attacker as chubby, in his 40s and wearing a suit and glasses and he picked out Gerald Martin in a police id parade.

Under cross-examination from Jamie Hill QC, defending, the alleged victim conceded he did not know Martin’s name at the time, but denied he had seen his photograph on the front of the Hartlepool Mail before taking part in the identity parade.

Mr Hill said: “You have described the room in which you were abused as being sparsely furnished, perhaps a store room.

“At the time of these allegations the rooms above the funeral premises were a family home, and the room you describe was a child’s bedroom.”

The alleged victim replied: “The room was as I said it was when I was in there.

“I’ve never been in that building before, if I’ve got the wrong building, how would I know there are three rooms at the top?”

Martin, 66, of Valley Close, Hartlepool, denies seven charges of indecent assault, three charges of committing a serious sexual offence, three charges of attempting to commit a serious sexual offence, and one charge of false imprisonment.