Jury out in historic child abuse case

By Dave Doyle | 13/05/2016 0 comments

Jury out in historic child abuse case

A JUDGE has summed up the case of a Thurnscoe man accused of raping a young relative he used to babysit as a teenager in the 1970s.

Today at Sheffield Crown Court, Recorder Mr Bernard Gateshill summarised evidence about David Feast (61) heard over four days.

Feast, of Common Road, in Thurnscoe, is accused of two counts of rape and four of indecent assault against a girl under the age of ten, when he was a teenager.

Mr Gateshill advised jurors to ignore any ideas they may have about historic sex abuse from recent media coverage of similar cases.

He warned them to ignore any stereotypes about who molests children, who the victims are and how they should react during and after a crime.

Mr Gateshill also pointed out conflicts in the evidence of Feast, his alleged victim and her parents about whether and how the matter was raised at the time of the alleged offending.

He said: “It is understandable that this woman did not complain herself, as a child.

“As she became an adult she could have complained to the police.

“But we know from experience that some people complain at the first opportunity and others keep matters to themselves until they feel the need to make a formal complaint.”

Mr Gateshill said that a four-decade delay between the alleged offences and the trial might make it harder for Feast to answer charges and advised jurors not to hold that against him.

But he added: “Of course an early complaint does not mean it is true and a later complaint does not mean it is false.

“It is for you to form your own opinions about the witnesses, which are reliable and which are not.”

Jurors will now retire to consider their verdicts.

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