Man on trial in sex abuse case

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A Blackpool man is standing trial accused of historic sex offences against a teenage girl.

Shaun Fitzpatrick, 56, is accused of abusing the girl at a house in Blackpool when she was aged 14 and 15.

If you say anything, you are going to be in trouble

His alleged victim, who can not be named for legal reasons, reported the abuse to the police in 2014, but Preston Crown Court heard she had previously told her mother and her boyfriend Fitzpatrick had abused her.

Joe Boyd, prosecuting, told the court Fitzpatrick threatened the youngster, telling her: “If you say anything, you are going to be in trouble.”

Fitzpatrick, of Thornber Grove, Blackpool, denies one count of attempted rape and two counts of indecent assault at Preston Crown Court.

He told the jury the woman was jealous and had made up lies about him.

But Mr Boyd asked the jury: “If she was going to do something out of jealousy, wouldn’t it have been when she was 16, not in her 20s? She wouldn’t have waited this long to make up sophisticated lies, having put up with this jealousy for a number of years.”

The woman’s ex boyfriend - who she had lived with from the age of 16 - told the court how she had told him about the abuse during the first year of their relationship.

He had wanted her to report matters then, but she had refused, the court heard.

Mr Boyd said: “Why did she tell him? This wasn’t somebody who was looking for money or something in the last few years.

“She first told (her boyfriend) within 12 months of first going out with him.

“Why did she tell him? Was she expecting that 10 years later she would go to the police, or was it because she had got close to this young man and wanted to tell him?”

Julie Taylor, defending, said there had been a number of occasions when the police or ambulance service had spoken to the woman, after being called out to domestic incidents and on one occasion self harm.

She said: “Why didn’t she say anything? If she is telling the truth and she told her mum as a 14 or 15-year-old girl that these things were happening, what mother would turn a blind eye when her daughter reports sexual abuse to her?

The court heard the girl’s mum has a medical condition which means she is unable to give evidence.

(Proceeding)