Alleged victim ‘gave abusers a few slaps’, court was told

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

An alleged victim of sexual abuse told a jury he is not making up his story for money.

The male said he was abused by five men at different times in public toilets in Hartlepool, and elsewhere in the town.

The man told Teesside Crown Court he ‘took revenge’ on his attackers and ‘gave them a few slaps’ at the public toilets.

The court heard the victim had been abused by Hartlepool undertaker Gerald Martin, whose case was dealt with last year.

Under cross-examination from barristers defending the five men, the victim said he had been advised to launch a claim against Martin.

“I think I’ve got more chance of winning the Lottery than getting any money,” the victim added.

“I am after justice, whatever that means in the court, but I would rather not be here, I would rather be at home.”

The court heard the alleged victim went willingly to the Burn Valley Gardens toilets when he was about 12, and continued to visit the toilets occasionally for several years. He said he gained confidence from about the age of 16 and became physically much stronger.

“I took revenge on those men,” he said. “I would go there and give them a few slaps, practically all of these defendants got a slap. There were tens and tens of men active in those toilets in those days. I was abused by about 10 or 15 of them.”

Five men deny a total of 17 allegations of abuse against three alleged victims.

Robert Black, 71, of Derwent Grange, Hartlepool, denies five charges of indecent assault, and one serious sexual offence.

Geoff Hillier, 72, of Haswell Avenue, Hartlepool, denies two charges of indecent assault, and two serious sexual offences.

Alan Edmenson, 66, of Ibrox Grove, Hartlepool, denies one charge of indecent assault.

Joseph Brown, 81, of Front Street, Hart, denies one charge of indecent assault.

Peter Watts, 72, of Oxford Road, Hartlepool, denies five charges of indecent assault.