Lisbellaw man on trial for alleged historic sex abuse

A MAN has gone on trial in relation to historic sex allegations against friend’s female child, some of which date back over 30 years.
James Kirkpatrick (71) from Rabbitburrow Road, Lisbellaw faces two counts of rape, 11 indecent assaults, four counts of gross indecency and a single count of attempted indecent assault.
Offending allegedly occurred on various dates between 1990 and 1997.
Kirkpatrick denies all charges and the trial is being held at Dungannon Crown Court.
Giving evidence by video-link the complainant described him being known as a friend of her family and would be regularly at her home and they shared sporting interests.
She recalled Kirkpatrick “showing an interest” in her from around the age of 10 and contact began with him allegedly slapping her backside on occasions which then escalated to more sexualised touching of her breasts.
“I was just a child,” she said. “I thought it was wrong and couldn’t understand why he was doing it.”
During one evening at a sporting event Kirkpatrick is alleged to have asked the complainant to come to his van to collect some equipment where he kissed her on the lips, giving her sweets in the aftermath.
She said, “Anytime he was around me he was touching and groping at me. He told me I had to do these things with him. I would say no and told him I’d tell my parents. He said, ‘Tell away. They’ll get you put into a home.’ At that stage in my life I knew of children being put into homes.”
When the complainant entered her teens she claims Kirkpatrick became even more troublesome.
She spoke of one instance of him arriving at her house claiming to have lost an expensive part for his bicycle and asked her to help him search for it.
Although reluctant, the complainant went along and alleges Kirkpatrick lured her into an isolated dead-end laneway but, “There was no part of a bike anywhere. I said you can’t go any further. He said I didn’t need to worry about that.
He began touching me. I asked him why he’d brought me there and he told me I needed to be quiet. I was upset and couldn’t understand why an adult was picking on me. I was crying and told him I wanted to go home. He told me to shut up until he was finished.”
It is alleged Kirkpatrick began carrying out a sex act on himself while touching the girl.
She stated while this was occurring she heard a tractor which was being driven by the girl’s neighbour. He looked down at her crying and slowed the tractor down.
While this appeared to startle Kirkpatrick, the complainant told the court, “I thought he (neighbour) would have stopped. I hoped he would have stopped. But he drove on.”
Usually after the alleged sexual abuse Kirkpatrick would leave the complainant home but on this occasion she was too upset, so he left her at the end of her road, where, “He told me to sort myself out.”
Having previously touched the girl over her clothes she alleges Kirkpatrick said this “Wasn’t doing it for him anymore” and he began to have direct contact under her clothing, on one occasion causing injury.
Numerous other instances occurred and the extent of alleged abuse increased including him using her hand to carry out sex acts on him and perform oral sex.
“I felt disgusting,” she said. “Lots of times I felt I’d like to die. He’d tell me I was his special girl and it was our secret. He’s ‘You do these things for me and I’ll be good to you.’ He’d give me sweets and then money.”
She remained convinced by Kirkpatrick’s warning that she would be “put away” if she disclosed what was happening.
The alleged abuse had been going on for some time when the complainant alleges Kirkpatrick lured her to his van on the pretext of showing her a surprise.
When he opened the rear doors she was horrified to see it kitted out with a sheet and pillows. She was instructed to get in and told this was for him and her and “it was special”.
Kirkpatrick allegedly took off his own clothes then the girl’s lower clothing and raped her. He commended her for “Not being with any other boys”.
While recounting the alleged abuse the complainant was very distressed, leading prosecution counsel to ask on several times if she was needed to stop.
She described becoming so traumatised by the alleged abuse she reached the stage where she went along with it get it over with.
However, a point came when she realised Kirkpatrick allegedly began to show an interest in another child whom she saw getting into his van.
Enraged that another child could suffer, she launched herself on the bonnet of the van.
“I shouted at the child to get out. He (Kirkpatrick) told me to get off the bonnet and I told him, ‘Am I f*** getting off’. The child got out but he pointed at me and said, ‘You’ll pay for that.’ I said, ‘No – you’ll pay for it. I’ve had enough of you.”
The trial continues.

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