Woman tells court of historic ‘regular’ indecent assaults as defendant deemed ‘not fit enough’ to take stand in trial

‘THIS is our little secret’.

Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 8:36 am
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 10:02 am
Picture: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

Those were the words allegedly used by Raymond Hawker to silence his young female victim who he subjected to ‘regular’ indecent assaults between 1987 to 1993, Portsmouth Crown Court heard during a trial taking place in his absence.

Hawker, who was between 47 years of age and 53 at the time of the allegations but is now 78 years old, was deemed ‘not fit enough’ to take the stand and face the historical charges following medical advice over his mental health issues.

The defendant, of Castlemans Lane, Hayling Island, has been accused of five charges of indecent assault with a child and indecency with a child after the alleged female victim, now in her 30s, came forward with the claims.

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The court heard how as a child the woman would be subjected to a variety of ordeals but locked away the painful memories before deciding to seek justice.

Giving evidence, she told the court the ‘abuse happened regularly with a lot of it at bedtime but also during the day’.

She said: ‘I didn’t say anything in case I got into trouble. He always told me he loved me.

‘I was told it was our little secret. I trusted him – he was an adult who was supposed to be looking out for me.’

The woman, who has had counselling, told the court she has suffered since going to the police and having to dig-up all the painful memories she had banished. ‘It’s just the whole process of remembering it and going through it. It has changed me a lot and been extremely hard,’ she said following questioning by prosecutor Mary Aspinall-Miles.

Asked why she had only come forward with the accusations in recent years, the alleged victim said: ‘You learn to bottle things up.’

Incidents where Hawker is alleged to have carried out the acts included in the bedroom and in his car on a country lane.

Under cross-examination from defence barrister Sarah Jones, the woman was quizzed over how accurate her memory was before responding: ‘I remember being in his company when he was touching me,’ she said.

Ms Jones, suggesting the lady had false memories of what happened, added: ‘Could you be looking for answers at how sad you felt where there are no answers?’

The female hit back: ‘I’m not sad now and would not make this up to make myself feel better.’

A friend who the accuser confided in said in a statement read out to the court: ‘She told me how she was sexually abused as a child and how (Hawker) made her touch his penis. I was totally shocked.’