Hartlepool sex case jury to resume deliberations today

The site of the former public toilets in Burn Valley Gardens at the junction of Stockton Road, Blakelock Road, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID
The site of the former public toilets in Burn Valley Gardens at the junction of Stockton Road, Blakelock Road, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

A jury in the case of five men accused of child sex offences was due to resume its deliberations this morning.

Judge Howard Crowson finished his summing up of the case against the men at Teesside Crown Court at lunchtime yesterday.

Robert Black, Peter Watts, Alan Edmenson, Geoff Hillier, and Joseph Brown face 17 indecent assault allegations from three victims.

The offences are alleged to have taken place in the 1970s and 80s, either in the Burn Valley Gardens public toilets in Hartlepool, or elsewhere in the town.

Each of the men has admitted they took part in homosexual activity around that time, but only with adult males.

Part way through the trial,

Black admitted two charges against one of his victims.

Black said his memory of that time is not good, and if his first victim said he was 14 or 15-years-old at the time, he was prepared to accept that.

He continues to deny three charges against his other alleged victim.

The four other men deny all the allegations against them.

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

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

Black, 71, of Borough Road, Middlesbrough, formerly of Derwent Grange, Hartlepool, admits two charges of indecent assault.

He denies two charges of indecent assault, and he denies a serious sexual offence,

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

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

The jury was sent home at 4.15pm yesterday, and were to resume its deliberations on Tuesday morning.

Proceeding.