A man has told a jury how his ex-girlfriend broke down and told him she had been abused by businessman Harold Burnett.
On the fourth day of the trial at Preston Crown Court, the man – who cannot be identified for legal reasons –said he had remained friends with his ex and her family after they had separated in the late 1970s.
She told me she had been abused by Harold Burnett
The woman moved out of the area and went on to get married but her former boyfriend told the court that one evening in 1979, when she had returned to her home town of Lytham, she became very emotional.
He said: “I asked her ‘what’s up?’ and she said ‘don’t tell anyone at all.’ She put her arms around me. She said ‘I’ve got something to tell you but you must never repeat it to anyone, ever’. She pleaded with me.
“She told me that she had been abused by Harold Burnett. It took me back quite a bit. I was quite shocked. She got very emotional - I have never seen her like that.
“I thought ‘I’m backing off here.’ It was something I’d never experienced and I didn’t want to go any deeper.
“I didn’t want to go down that road because she was very, very emotional but I kept that promise - I never said anything to anybody.”
The woman is one of three people who allege to have been abused by Burnett, 81, of Lytham Road, Lytham.
Another man – a former employee at one of Burnett’s caravan parks, Lawnsdale Caravan Park in Moss Side, near Wrea Green – told the court he too had been told about the abuse alleged to have been carried out by Burnett.
Burnett denies six charges of gross indecency with a child, four charges of indecent assault on a female and nine charges of indecent assault on a male child.
Two men and a woman, now in their 50s and 60s, claim to have been sexually abused by him at a small terraced house in south Fylde more than four decades ago.