Two men accused of raping Blackpool youngster who was allegedly given pills and cider

Crown Court
Crown Court

A man has denied abetting another man to rape a little girl.

Harry Anthony Collier, 63, of Mythop Road, Blackpool, is accused of a string of 24 historical sexual offences against two girls and a woman including rape, indecent assault and gross indecency.

Co-defendant Paul Snedker, 57, of no fixed abode, is accused of 10 sexual offences including attacking a woman over a period in the late 70s into the 80s at Blackpool and Sheffield, and raping a young girl in Blackpool.

Both men are on trial at Preston Crown Court accused of sexual attacks in the 1970s and 80s.

It is alleged Collier indecently assaulted the first complainant when she was between the ages of four and nine.

Prosecuting, David Traynor said after the attacks he would "reward her with a sweet".

Collier denies a further charge of raping a woman in Blackpool in 1988, and in relation to a second child, denies rape, indecent assault, taking indecent photographs of her, inciting her to commit gross indecency, and helping his co-defendant attack her.

Mr Traynor added: "It is alleged that between the ages of seven and nine Collier facilitated or helped Paul Snedker to rape her in that he made her available to Snedker knowing that he was raping her. "

He said the youngster had become aware when she was around seven that what Collier was doing was wrong when she saw a television programme about abuse.

But Collier then started to allow his friends - including Snedker - to abuse her, the court heard, with Collier saying things such as ‘Time for you to please Paul because he loves you as well".

It is alleged he was present while Snedker abused the girl.

Mr Traynor added: "She states that Harry Collier would take her to a house in Blackpool where Paul Snedker and others would be present. She doesn’t know whose this house was but describes its lay out and the street it was on.

"She says in the lounge of this house she would be provided with cider or white pills which burnt the back of her throat but also relaxed her. Each of the men would then take her up to a bedroom in that house and engage in sexual behaviour with her."

Giving evidence at their trial, a witness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the jury she recalled Collier walking into a bedroom and repeatedly punching the youngster after she had made a remark about something he had allegedly done to her.

She said: " We were being noisy, probably a little bit giddy. He (Collier) came in and he sort of punched her in the bed. We thought perhaps he was kidding around but he just kept on punching and punching and saying: 'You'd better be quiet.'

"Initially I thought it was playful but just the ferocity and length of time it went on it was shocking, I was scared."

(proceeding)